Khadr’s lawyer out of hospital, fit to resume trial

 

Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, Omar Khadr's military-appointed lawyer, is pictured speaking to the media in a hangar at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay.
(Photo by Anna Mehler Paperny/Globe and Mail)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Omar Khadr’s lawyer is out of hospital, is off painkillers and will be able to go to trial once the Canadian detainee’s Guantanamo Bay hearing resumes.

Dates for the trial, postponed for about a month after Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson collapsed in pain during cross-examination, are still up in the air. But witnesses are being asked to clear their day books as part of the complex scheduling that goes into co-ordinating war-court proceedings at the U.S. naval base.

Stephen Xenakis, the retired brigadier-general and a defence-team physician in close contact with Mr. Khadr, is preparing to make his case before the war tribunal. He hopes to convince the seven-person military jury what military judge Colonel Patrick Parrish didn’t believe: that the now 23-year-old Mr. Khadr endured enough physical and psychological torment to traumatize him and render his testimony unusable.

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Lawyer’s illness delays Khadr trial for a month

Saturday, August 14, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

GUANTANAMO BAY — Eight years after he was taken into U.S. custody, five years after charges were first filed and just a day after opening arguments, the latest obstacle to Omar Khadr’s war-crimes trial going forward is not a defence motion, a Supreme Court ruling or a president hoping to close Guantanamo Bay. It is one lawyer in a lot of pain.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, the military-appointed lawyer Mr. Khadr tried to fire last month and the only person authorized to represent him in the trial that could lock him up for life, was to be evacuated from Guantanamo Bay after collapsing in court Thursday.

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In plea to U.S. supreme court, a last-ditch attempt to stop Khadr trial

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

The military-appointed lawyer Omar Khadr tried to fire last month has launched a last-ditch attempt to stop the military tribunal that could lock up the 23-year-old Canadian for life, petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the proceedings.

It’s the top court’s obligation to stop a trial that might be illegal in the first place, Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson argues – especially because the results of next month’s court proceedings in Guantanamo Bay could result in a life sentence for Mr. Khadr.

“The potential harm to the petitioner [Mr. Khadr] is enormous – subjection to a trial on a potential life sentence that is entirely illegitimate and should not even have been charged, much less tried,” the petition reads.

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Khadr agrees to be defended by U.S. lawyer

Monday, July 19, 2010 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

Omar Khadr is willing to have his military-appointed U.S. lawyer defend him in court after all, his Canadian lawyer now says.

Calling the military commission a “sham process,” Mr. Khadr had tried to fire all his American lawyers last week – including military-appointed counsel Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson.

Military judge Colonel Patrick Parrish would not let him, and directed Lt.-Col. Jackson to consult his professional bodies, including the Arkansas bar, as to his obligations regarding Mr. Khadr’s defence.

Lt-Col. Jackson’s answer? Not only will he continue representing Mr. Khadr, but says he is “ethically required” to do so.

“Therefore, I intend to provide him with a zealous defence at his trial in August,” he said this weekend.

“Omar Khadr continues to be the victim in this case. I never envisioned a scenario in my career as an Army lawyer that would require me to defend a child-soldier against war crimes charges levied by the United States. I always believed we were better than that.”

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