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Canadian defendant Omar Khadr attends his hearing in the courthouse for the U.S. military war crimes commission at the Camp Justice compound on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, Wednesday, April 28, 2010. (Janet Hamlin/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Canadian defendant Omar Khadr attends his hearing in the courthouse for the U.S. military war crimes commission at the Camp Justice compound on Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba, Wednesday, April 28, 2010. (Janet Hamlin/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa denies report of Clinton-Cannon talks on Khadr deal Add to ...

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is personally trying to resolve the Omar Khadr case in hopes of avoiding a war-crimes trial, CNN is reporting.

A spokesperson for Canada's foreign minister, however, said the report was untrue.

Citing two unnamed sources, the American news channel said Ms. Clinton was set to speak with her Canadian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, Wednesday night. It further reported Canadian and U.S. officials will exchange diplomatic notes Friday, in an effort to negotiate a plea bargain that will see Mr. Khadr serve part of his sentence in Canada.

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However, Catherine Loubier, Mr. Cannon's communications director, said the minister had not spoken with his U.S. counterpart and dismissed any suggestion Canada was involved in striking a plea bargain for the prisoner.

"What's in that report is not correct," she told The Globe and Mail. "The matter is with the United States."

U.S. State Department officials were not available for comment late Wednesday night.

While Mr. Khadr's lawyers have confirmed that a plea deal is in the works, they have not offered any details. The Canadian government has repeatedly insisted that it is not involved in negotiating such a deal.

A 24-year-old Canadian, Mr. Khadr is accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was 15 years old. He has been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2003.

He has maintained his innocence and, as recently as July, said he would not accept a plea bargain.

 

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