Tuesday, February 21, 2006

$102-million judgment awarded against Khadr

Associated Press
February 19, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY -- A U.S. soldier wounded in Afghanistan and the widow of his slain comrade were awarded a $102.6-million U.S. judgment from the estate of an Egyptian-born Canadian.

But Sergeant Layne Morris, of West Jordan, Utah, and the family of medic Christopher Speer could have a difficult time collecting their award, because the assets of Ahmed Said Khadr, a suspected al-Qaeda financier, are unknown.

Other soldiers have difficulty identifying their attackers, making it difficult to hold individuals responsible.

Sgt. Morris cited news reports -- including interviews with the immediate family of his attacker, Omar Khadr, indicating that the then-15-year-old had wounded him and killed Mr. Speer.

The ruling, released Friday, cited similar evidence that the youth's father, suspected financier Ahmad Said Khadr, was linked to al-Qaeda and trained his son to attack American targets.

Sgt. Morris and Mr. Speer, who served with the 19th Special Forces, were attacked with grenades and automatic weapons when they were in a remote Afghan village in July, 2002.

Shrapnel severed the optic nerve in Mr. Morris's right eye, blinding him.

Soldiers arrested Omar Khadr, who is the only Canadian being held at the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Canadian government has protested his imprisonment.

In November, the U.S. government charged him with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and aiding the enemy.

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