QUESTION: Are there additional legal steps the United States must take in order to allow for the transfer of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, or is it now entirely in the hands of Canada?
ANSWER: The U.S. and Canadian Governments have been in regular contact on this case. Both sides have worked diligently to take the appropriate steps to act on Omar Khadr’s application for transfer to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence, pursuant to his pre-trial agreement and in accordance with diplomatic notes exchanged in October 2010. The diplomatic notes are publicly available at http://www.mc.mil/CASES/MilitaryCommissions.aspx. In those notes, the U.S. and Canadian governments agreed that they could implement such a transfer under the Treaty Between Canada and the United States of America on the Execution of Penal Sentences and existing domestic authorities. Furthermore, the notes indicated that the United States would support and Canada would favorably consider Mr. Khadr’s application for transfer to Canada. The U.S. government has completed the necessary steps to approve the transfer and passed the application to the Canadian government for its consideration. We will not speculate about transfer timelines nor about the pending review by the Canadian government.