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A federal judge on Monday ordered the U.S. Treasury to hand over any money seized from a suspected terrorist to a wounded Utah soldier and an Army medic killed in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell said he would sign the order unless he heard objections from the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which has frozen assets of suspected al-Qaida terrorist Ahmad Sa'id Khadr.
Treasury officials did not respond to the lawsuit, and on Monday, a spokeswoman for the department declined to comment.
The Salt Lake City court had awarded the victims $102 million in February 2006, but since then the U.S. government has refused to release any funds or provide information about where the money is located, say the plaintiffs' attorneys.
Treasury officials did not return calls to the victims' attorneys or return letters until May after Sen. Orrin, R-Utah, intervened.
"I'm disappointed that the government has taken so long to respond to its own citizens and members of its military," said Don Winder, attorney for the plaintiffs.
Sgt. Layne Morris, 45, of West Jordan, who lost his right eye, and the family of Sgt. Christopher Speer won the default judgment against Khadr, whom officials say was a financier to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. Attorneys for Morris and Speer's widow, Tabitha, said the elder Khadr had trained his young son Omar to kill Americans.
Omar Khadr, now 20, allegedly joined the Taliban in Afghanistan and purportedly threw a grenade that killed Speer, 28 and wounded Morris. Khadr, then 15, was captured as he lay wounded after the firefight at an al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan.
The military alleges that Khadr also conducted surveillance of U.S. troops and planted land mines targeting American convoys.
The U.S. military filed a murder charge in April against the younger Khadr, who has spent five years at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
Several of Omar Khadr's family members have been accused of ties to Islamic extremists. His Egyptian-born father was purportedly killed in Pakistan in 2003 alongside senior al-Qaida operatives.
Judge Cassell has said that the Utah lawsuit may be the first filed by an American soldier under the anti-terrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act, which enables victims to be compensated for losses from acts of terrorism.
Morris has said any money recovered will first go to provide for Speer's widow and the couple's two young children.