Omar Khadr: 40 Year Sentence Recommended for Guantanemo Detainee

Omar Khadr, Canadian-born Guantanamo Bay detainee, should serve 40 years in prison for war crimes, a U.S. military panel recommends.

The panel says it would be a symbolic decision because a pre-trial plea deal caps his sentence at eight years.

CBC reports Khadr pleaded guilty last Monday to five war crimes charges brought by the U.S. military including killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was 15 years old in a plea bargain.

The sentencing panel was not told about the plea deal before it deliberated nearly nine hours over two days at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay where Khadr has already served eight years in detention.

Khadr, 24, wont be eligible to apply for a transfer to Canada, until hes served one year in the U.S.

The panel of three female and four male U.S. military officers returned its decision Sunday afternoon after asking the military judge to replay testimony from defence witness Capt. Patrick McCarthy, who interacted extensively with Khadr and found him friendly, non-radical and believed he could be rehabilitated, CBS reported.

CBC's Laurie Graham, who is in Guantanamo, said the sentence was much longer than the 25-year sentence the prosecution had asked for, and "clearly this panel wanted to send a message."

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