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Lawyer wants Omar Khadr moved out of federal prison into provincial jail

In this Pentagon-approved photograph of a sketch by artist Janet Hamlin, Omar Khadr, listens to closing arguments Oct. 30, 2010.

A lawyer representing former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr wants his client moved out of a federal prison in Edmonton.

Dennis Edney has filed an application in court to have the 26-year-old transferred out of the maximum-security Edmonton Institution.

Edney said Tuesday that the Toronto-born Khadr was sentenced for crimes committed as a teenager and he should be in another facility, such as a provincial jail.

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"Under the Transfer of Offenders Act, Omar Khadr should be treated as a youth, based upon the sentence he received — an eight year sentence — and not be lodged in a maximum security prison as an adult.

"Our government's misconduct is a continuation of his ill treatment in Guantanamo."

Khadr was held for a decade in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, before he pleaded guilty to war crimes that included killing an American special forces soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15.

A U.S. military commission sentenced him to another eight years behind bars and he was transferred to Canada.

He first served as a maximum-security inmate in Millhaven penitentiary west of Kingston, Ont.

But when he was threatened there by a fellow inmate, he was put into isolation. A few months later, he was moved to Alberta.

Edney hopes his application for another transfer can be heard in court next month.

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He said he has received a letter from federal justice officials steadfast in their position that Khadr is serving an adult sentence and should be in a federal prison.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney also issued a statement Tuesday.

"Omar Khadr pleaded guilty to very serious crimes, including the murder of American Army medic Sgt. Christopher Speer," Blaney said. "The Government of Canada will vigorously defend against any attempted court action to lessen his punishment for these crimes."

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