GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- A Guantanamo Bay detainee Thursday apologized to the widow of the U.S. soldier he killed with a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan eight years ago.
"I'm really, really sorry for the pain I caused you and your family," Omar Khadr told Tabitha Speer during his sentencing hearing at the U.S. prison in Cuba. "I wish I could do something that would take away your pain."
When Speer had her chance to express her feelings about Khadr killing her husband, U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Speer, she told him her children "didn't deserve to have their father taken by someone like you," the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
"You will forever be a murderer in my eyes," she said.
Khadr, who was 15 at the time he killed Christopher Speer while fighting alongside al-Qaida insurgents, pleaded guilty Monday to killing Speer and to four other charges, including conspiracy, murder, providing material support to terrorists and spying.
Prosecutors said they hope Speer's wife's frequently emotional testimony, as well as the words of expert witnesses, will cause the seven-member jury to recommend a stiff penalty.
Dr. Michael Welner, an expert witness and forensic psychologist, said Khadr would likely return to being a jihadist unless he is "de-radicalized" during his sentence.
The Islamic Supreme Council asked that Khadr be rehabilitated in his home country of Canada. The United Nations asked that Khadr be allowed to return to Canada, rather than be kept further in a U.S. facility.
The U.N. secretary-general's special representative for children and armed conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy, said Khadr is typical of the "classic child soldier: recruited by unscrupulous groups to undertake actions at the bidding of adults to fight battles they barely understand."