Omar Khadr (photo, from cbc.ca), a former child soldier held in Guantanamo Bay, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing an American soldier on an Afghan battlefield.
However he will only serve eight years as a result of a plea bargain struck with the US military tribunal trying him.
And he could serve only one more year if he is granted repatriation to Canada, his home country, as his legal team say they will be requesting.
In exchange for an assurance that his sentence would be capped at eight years, Khadr pleaded guilty to killing the soldier when he was 15, along with other terrorism charges.
In spite of that agreement, a seven-member military panel deliberated for almost nine hours before reaching the decision to hand Khadr a forty-year sentence.
US Army Colonel Patrick Parrish, the judge in the case, said that Khadr would serve another year at Guantanamo, and would then be transferred to Canada for the remainder of his sentence.
Khadr has already spent eight years at US-run prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.
He was captured and wounded in Afghanistan, at the scene of a firefight between US forces and al-Qaeda fighters.
Khadr said that during the battle he threw a grenade that killed a US soldier.
He pleaded guilty to murder in violation of the laws of war, providing material assistance to a terrorist organisation and espionage.
The way he was treated has been hugely criticised by human rights groups. They pointed out that when his father took him to Afghanistan to undergo al-Qaeda training, he was only a child.
His lawyer had called for Khadr to be sentenced to two additional years to the time he has already served. He also said that his years in Guantanamo have permanently damaged him.
“There is no deradicalisation program in Guantanamo,” Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson said, recalling a psychiatrist who testified that Khadr was beyond redemption and a danger to society.
Omar Khadr is the only Canadian in Guantanamo Bay. He is also the last Westerner and the only one charged with murder in a battlefield situatin.