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US seeks Khadr charges reinstatement before military commission review court

[JURIST] US military lawyers appearing at the first sitting of the new US Court of Military Commission Review [DOD materials] Friday urged the court to overturn a ruling [order, PDF] dropping charges against Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive]. In June, a military commission judge held [JURIST report] that he had no jurisdiction over Khadr because a Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] had found that he was an "enemy combatant," not an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text]. Government lawyers said Friday that such minor details should not delay the start of Khadr's trial. The appeal court's decision could affect the legal status of about 80 Guantanamo Bay detainees, including the so-called "high-value" detainees whose ranks include accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile].

Khadr was detained in Afghanistan in 2002 after allegedly throwing a grenade that killed one US soldier and wounded another while fighting with the Taliban. He was only 15 at the time. After earlier proceedings against him were effectively quashed by the US Supreme Court's rejection of presidentially-established military commissions as unconstitutional he was formally recharged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April under the new Military Commissions Act with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, as well as spying. AP has more.

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