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Canadian Guantanamo detainee to boycott trial

[JURIST] Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] told his mother Wednesday in the first phone call with his family since his capture in 2002 that he plans to do whatever he can to avoid appearing in front of his military trial in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] because he believes the military commission [JURIST news archive] is fundamentally unfair. The Toronto Star reported Thursday that Khadr, now 20, also said he no longer wanted to be represented by his appointed US lawyers, and would only accept legal representation from his family's Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney. Unlike the Australian lawyers for Australian detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive], Edney has not been allowed to travel to the Guantanamo Bay prison. This would not be the first time [JURIST report] that Khadr has boycotted proceedings against him.

Khadr was only 15 years old when he allegedly trained with and fought alongside al Queda fighters in Afghanistan. His father, Ahmad Khadr, was a close associate of Osama bin Laden and other senior al Queda leaders. Omar Khadr is accused [2004 charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] of planting mines to blow up US convoys and throwing a grenade that killed a US Green Beret. His charges were renewed [JURIST report] last month. Earlier this week the US Supreme Court rejected his request [JURIST report] to expedite his challenge of the 2006 Military Commissions Act [PDF text]. The Toronto Star has more.

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