Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Delay puts Khadr Trial in Doubt.

This is from the Star.
This will be interesting. Both Obama and McCain have said they will close Guantanamo but there might be an uproar if someone accused of killing a US soldier is simply let go. Perhaps, they might send him to Canada or try him in the United States. But McCain has said he would repatriate Khadr to Canada if asked. Surely Obama would do the same thing. There will probably be even more pressure on Harper to request his repatriation. It could be a hot potato for the Conservatives.

New delay for Khadr puts trial in doubt -- New delay for Khadr puts trial in doubt
Both Obama, McCain vowed to close prison at Guantanamo if elected
October 25, 2008 Michelle ShephardNational Security Reporter
GUANTANAMO BAY, CUBA–A U.S. military judge has set Jan. 26 as the new date for Omar Khadr's war crimes trial – six days after a new administration takes over the White House.
Army Col. Patrick Parrish granted the defence's request for a delay after they argued this week that they needed more time for their medical experts to assess the Canadian prisoner.
Khadr's legal team has also been complaining for months that they do not yet have all the evidence in the case or been given access to key witnesses, including some of Khadr's interrogators.
The timing of the new date now puts Khadr's trial in doubt as both Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have vowed to close this prison.
Obama also said he would abolish the military commissions under which Khadr is charged.
McCain helped usher in the Military Commission Act in 2006, so it's expected he would continue the trials, but perhaps order them held on U.S. soil.
But McCain also told a gathering in Ottawa earlier this year that he would repatriate Khadr if asked to do so by Canada.
Now 22, Khadr has been in U.S. custody since he was captured in Afghanistan at the age of 15.
The Pentagon has charged him with five offences, including "murder in violation of the laws of war" for allegedly throwing a grenade that fatally wounded U.S. soldier Christopher Speer.
The Toronto-born prisoner is the last Western detainee after Australia, Britain and other European governments negotiated the release of their citizens.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has vowed not to intervene in Khadr's case despite mounting domestic and international pressure.
Speaking from Parliament Hill yesterday where she's on a hunger strike to press for her brother's repatriation, Khadr's sister, Zaynab Khadr, was upbeat about the delay in his trial.
"It's a good thing," she told The Canadian Press.

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