Khadr’s move throws his hearings into doubt

Monday, July 12, 2010 – Globe and Mail

GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL STATION, CUBA — In a putty-coloured air-traffic-centre-turned-courtroom Monday morning, the fate of Omar Khadr’s military trial, and the evidence the prosecution can present, will be up to Omar Khadr and his judge.

Military Justice Colonel Patrick Parrish will call on the Canadian charged with terrorism to confirm a statement he submitted Wednesday firing the American lawyers who have been conducting his defence at the military tribunal here.

That could leave the 23-year-old, who was 15 and severely wounded when U.S. forces apprehended him in Afghanistan and charged him with murder and supporting terrorism, to fend for himself in court.

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Omar Khadr fires his lawyers, cancelling Guantanamo pre-trial hearings

Friday, July 9, 2010

Omar Khadr’s decision to fire his lawyers days before his next court appearance effectively cancels what was supposed to be a final round of pre-trial hearings for the only Canadian detainee in Guantanamo Bay, and could kill his defence team’s last efforts to suppress evidence they allege was obtained through torture.

Mr. Khadr, whose charges include murder and supporting terrorism, was supposed to begin his trial next month. Now it’s not clear when that will go forward and whether Mr. Khadr, who was 15 when prosecutors allege he threw a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in an Afghan firefight, will be tried in Guantanamo without any real defence counsel.

It also means the Toronto-born Mr. Khadr will make a rare appearance speaking on his own behalf on Monday – unless he decides to boycott proceedings, which he did earlier this year.

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