US & Canada

Canadian accused of buying weapons for al-Qaeda freed

Abdullah Khadr
Image caption The US offered Pakistan a $500,000 bounty to arrest Abdullah Khadr

A Canadian accused by the US of supplying weapons to al-Qaeda has been freed in Toronto after a judge refused to extradite him to the US.

Abdullah Khadr, 29, had been in jail since 2005, when he was arrested in Canada at US officials' request.

Mr Khadr is the elder brother of Omar Khadr, the only Westerner held at the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The judge said statements made by Mr Khadr and used as the basis for the case against him were "unreliable".

Mr Khadr was arrested in Pakistan in October 2004 after the CIA offered Pakistani authorities a $500,000 (£314,000) bounty.

The US accused him of procuring weapons, including mine components and rocket-propelled grenades, for al-Qaeda to use against coalition forces in Afghanistan.

He returned to Canada after about a year in Pakistani custody, and in December 2005 was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at US request.

The US sought to extradite him to face charges.

On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Christopher Speyer halted extradition proceedings, effectively denying the US bid.

The Canadian government has yet to decide whether to appeal.

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