Wednesday, January 21, 2009

U.S. judge halts proceedings against Omar Khadr.

How gratifying that Obama has halted these farcical kangaroo court trials. This will help to repair some of the damage done to the US in the court of international opinion. Guantanamo was a blot on the global legal landscape.
Harper now should move to ask for the repatriation of Khadr but given his past performance on the issue I doubt he will act immediately. Harper had no qualms about justice at Guantanamo it seems. On this issue Obama has shown leadership while Harper showed slavish followership of the Bush agenda.
Perhaps now the Uighurs at Guantanamo who were ordered released by a US judge will be allowed to emigrate to the US where a group was ready to receive them and help them adjust.
The Bush administration refused to allow them into the US. If sent back to China they probably face jail terms.

U.S. judge halts proceedings against Omar Khadr
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 9:51 AM ET
CBC News
The U.S. military judge presiding over Canadian Omar Khadr's war-crimes case at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, granted an adjournment on Wednesday of 120 days at the request of the new administration of President Barack Obama.In this sketch by a courtroom artist, reviewed by the U.S. military, Canadian defendant Omar Khadr sits during a hearing at the U.S. military commissions court for war crimes, at the U.S. naval base, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Monday. (Janet Hamlin/Pool/Associated Press)
The adjournment ordered by Col. Patrick Parrish does not withdraw the charges against the Toronto-born Khadr or expunge any evidence presented against him at this week's pretrial hearings, the CBC's Susan Ormiston reported Wednesday from Guantanamo Bay outside the proceedings.
Obama ordered prosecutors to make the request within hours of his swearing-in Tuesday. The defence team did not oppose the prosecution motion to suspend the proceedings.
The president said he needed the hiatus to sort out what to do with Khadr and the other 244 detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
Khadr, the only Westerner remaining in detention at the U.S. naval base in Cuba, is accused of killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was just 15.
He is accused of:
Murder in violation of the law of war.
Attempted murder in violation of the law of war.
Providing material support for terrorism.
Lt.-Cmdr. William Kuebler, Khadr's military-appointed lawyer, told CBC News he believes the adjournment signifies "the end" of Khadr's case before the controversial military commissions process at Guantanamo Bay.

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