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Plea negotiations continue in case of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr

By Carol Cratty, Jill Dougherty and Jeanne Meserve, CNN
Omar Khadr, shown in a courtroom sketch from early August, was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002.
Omar Khadr, shown in a courtroom sketch from early August, was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002.
  • Omar Khadr was 15 in 2002, when he allegedly threw a grenade in Afghanistan
  • The incident resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier
  • A military commission began hearing Khadr's case in August
  • An official now says a possible plea deal is under discussion

Washington (CNN) -- A possible plea deal under discussion for Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr calls for him to spend some prison time in Canada, according to a U.S. official who would not speak on the record due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.

The official did not say how much prison time the deal calls for but said the bulk of it would be served in Khadr's native Canada while the rest would be served in U.S. custody.

Khadr's military commission had been scheduled to resume Monday. Last Thursday, a military spokeswoman announced the judge in the case ordered a one week delay but she did not provide a reason.

One of Khadr's Canadian lawyers, Nate Whitling, told CNN on Thursday, "There are ongoing negotiations, and we hope there will be a deal." He would not discuss what proposed terms were being discussed.

According to the U.S. official, the negotiations are complicated and involve not just the prosecution and defense lawyers but also the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Catherine Loubier, a spokeswoman for Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, told CNN there's been no agreement on a plea deal for Khadr. She indicated the terms of any agreement still needed to be resolved by parties in the United States. Loubier did not discuss whether Canada would allow Khadr to serve out part of any sentence in Canada.

Khadr, now 24, was 15 when he allegedly threw a grenade during a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of Army Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer. If convicted, Khadr faces a maximum life sentence.

The military commission began in August but was stopped in the first week due to the illness of Khadr's military lawyer. It's the first such commission conducted during the Obama administration.

On Thursday, Whitling would not discuss whether Khadr had rejected a previous plea deal, but suggested he is receptive to an agreement now. "He is anxious to avoid a trial before that kangaroo court," Whitling said in reference to the U.S. military commission at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility.