Mr. Khadr's lawyers say two e-mails from Col. Brownback to
lawyers involved in the case show the determination will be a
hasty, sketchy process that's “fundamentally unfair.”
process would bar an appeal about Mr. Khadr's status to a
regular U.S. court, said Lieutenant-Commander William Kuebler.
And the judge has already said he won't accept arguments that
Mr. Khadr was an alleged child soldier deserving of
international legal protections.
Mr. Khadr was 15 years old when he allegedly threw a grenade
that killed a U.S. medic in an Afghanistan firefight in 2002.
“The courts in this process seem determined to avoid the most
controversial aspect of Omar's prosecution — whether imposing a
life sentence on a child for so-called war crimes is legal,”
said Lt.-Cmdr. Kuebler.
“Allowing the military commission to decide whether it can
legally try Omar is like letting the fox guard the henhouse.”
The case, which has faced one legal twist after another, is
scheduled to resume Nov. 8 in Guantanamo.
The U.S. military is anxious to try Mr. Khadr.
It would be the first full test of a special justice system
for foreign terror suspects initially set up by President George
W. Bush and revamped by Congress last year.
The process has been condemned by many western countries and
human rights groups, but Canada hasn't criticized it. The
Conservative government has said it won't get involved.
Mr. Khadr is the only western prisoner left among
Guantanamo's 340 detainees. Other countries, like Britain,
demanded their citizens be returned home.
Last month, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion urged Prime Minister
Stephen Harper to demand that Mr. Khadr be tried in a U.S.
civilian court or sent home to face justice.
“It's stunning that Canada can continue to be idle in the
face of such an affront to the rule of law,” said Lt.-Cmder.
“In the military commissions, if you're right on the law,
they just don't let you make the argument.”