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Khadr not making Guantanamo plea deal: Canadian lawyer

[JURIST] Dennis Edney, a Canadian civilian lawyer for Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive], said Friday that his client would not work out a plea deal with the US military because it would require Khadr to serve 30 years in prison on terror charges. Instead, Edney indicated he will push for an independent psychological evaluation for his client, who was only 15 years old when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002. In April Khadr was formally charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] with murdering a US soldier in Afghanistan by throwing a hand grenade at him. Edney was able to meet with his client for the first time last week, but currently is considered merely a "foreign attorney consultant." Khadr had been assigned US lawyers, but he supposedly fired them [JURIST report] last year and then fired them again [JURIST report] this past week. Edney and a fellow Canadian lawyer will push to be accepted by the US as full counsel who can, alongside US Navy lawyer Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, work to represent Khadr. The Military Commissions Act (MCA) [PDF text] requires that a military lawyer be present during a Guantanamo trial.

Khadr told his family in March that he plans to boycott his trial [JURIST report]. In April, the US Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit [petition for certiorari, PDF; JURIST report] by Khadr challenging the legality of his military commission under the MCA. The Canadian Press has more.

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