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San Juan, Puerto Rico • A Pentagon legal official has rejected a request to grant clemency for the youngest prisoner at Guantanamo Bay and ruled his 8-year sentence for war crimes should stand.

Omar Khadr pleaded guilty Oct. 25 to charges that included murder for throwing a grenade that mortally wounded Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, an American soldier in Afghanistan.

Khadr is also believed to be responsible for a grenade attack during the battle that wounded then-Sgt. Layne Morris, a Utah National Guard soldier.

A military jury at the U.S. base in Cuba recommended a 40-year sentence. But a pretrial agreement limited him to no more than eight years.

The Pentagon official in charge of war crimes tribunals upheld the eight-year sentence Thursday. Bruce MacDonald rejected a defense request to cut the sentence in half.

The prisoner is expected to be sent back to his native Canada by Nov. 1.