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Khadr lawyers challenge validity of review tribunal judge appointments

[JURIST] Lawyers representing Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Ahmed Khadr [TrialWatch profile; JURIST news archive] filed a motion Thursday to suspend the proceedings of the Court of Military Commission Review [DOD materials], arguing that the appellate court's three military judges were illegally appointed. The motion alleges that Defense Secretary Robert Gates [official profile] did not personally appoint the judges as required under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [PDF text], instead delegating the appointments to a deputy. Military prosecutors, who are appealing a decision to dismiss charges against Khadr [JURIST reports], are expected to respond to the defense motion before the end of July.

In June, the Court of Military Commissions Review was hastily established [JURIST report] only days after the unexpected dismissal of charges against Khadr and Yemeni detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan [JURIST report]. The judges in both cases found that the detainees could not be tried as "unlawful enemy combatants" under the MCA because both had been simply designated as "enemy combatants" by Combatant Status Review Tribunals [DOD materials] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The Globe and Mail has more.

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