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Khadr lawyers urge review tribunal to reconsider reinstatement of charges

[JURIST] Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive] asked the US Court of Military Commission Review [DOD materials] Monday to reconsider last month's decision [PDF text; JURIST report] reinstating charges against Khadr. In June, military judge Col. Peter Brownback dropped terrorism charges [order, PDF; JURIST report] against Khadr, ruling that the court had no jurisdiction because a Guantanamo Combatant Status Review Tribunal [DOD materials] found that Khadr was an "enemy combatant," not an "unlawful enemy combatant" as required under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text]. The appeals court reversed that ruling, finding that the distinction was purely semantic and that the military judge has the power to hear evidence concerning, and ultimately decide, Khadr's "unlawful enemy combatant" status. Khadr's lawyers argued Monday that e-mails written by Brownback indicate that he will make a hasty and "fundamentally unfair" decision concerning Khadr's status. The Pentagon said last week that it expects prosecutors in the Khadr and other military commissions cases to quickly move toward trial [JURIST report].

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. The Globe and Mail has more.

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