04 June 2007

Gitmo: A Miserable Failure...

I think it says a lot when a military judge throws the case out due to it sheer lack of merit. And of course Omar will now be inspired to join the Republican Party and sing the praises of the 'American Way', enit?


Guantanamo Canadian Case Dropped

A US military judge has dropped charges against a Canadian held at Guantanamo Bay, saying he could not be tried under new laws governing military tribunals.

Omar Khadr was just 15 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan.

He appeared in court charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and providing support for terrorism.

But the judge ruled he could not be tried under current laws because he was not classified as an "unlawful" enemy combatant in previous hearings.

The charges were dismissed "without prejudice", said Col Peter Brownback, the presiding judge.

His decision deals a big blow to the trial system, says the BBC's Justin Webb, in Washington.

Tribunal issue

Mr Khadr had been classified as an "enemy combatant" under a previous tribunal system that was eventually thrown out in 2006 by the US Supreme Court.

But under new legislation approved by President George W Bush, only detainees classified as "unlawful enemy combatants" can face trial at Guantanamo Bay.

The defendant appeared in court on Monday wearing a prison uniform, light sandals and a straggly beard, reports said.

He is accused of killing a US soldier during a battle at a suspected al-Qaeda base in 2002.

The judge left open the possibility that Mr Khadr could be re-charged if he appeared before an official review panel and was formally classified as an "unlawful" enemy combatant.

He said prosecutors could lodge an appeal within 72 hours, although it was not immediately clear who they could appeal to.

The word "unlawful" has not been used in any of the other pending cases, so it looks as though the whole tribunal system will once again come to a juddering halt, our correspondent says.

Marine Col Dwight Sullivan, chief defence lawyer for the Guantanamo Bay trials, agreed that the latest verdict cast doubt on the entire system.

"We don't need any more evidence that it's a failure. This system should just stop," he told the Reuters news agency.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/06/04 18:02:38 GMT


Alan Johnston banner


Post a Comment

<< Home