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Canada tried to prevent Khadr transfer to Guantanamo: letter

[JURIST] Canada requested in 2002 that the United States not send detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] to Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] after his capture in Afghanistan, according to a letter submitted with court documents filed by Khadr's lawyers Thursday. Khadr's lawyers have argued that Guantanamo was an inappropriate place to detain Khadr because he was 15 years old at the time of his capture. The 2002 letter, from the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC to the US State Department, notes that both Canada and the US have laws designed for minor suspects and that those laws should prevent Khadr's transfer to the military prison. Last month, Khadr's lawyers argued [JURIST report] before the Supreme Court of Canada that the Canadian government should be compelled to turn over confidential documents [JURIST report] that they say led to Khadr's charges and are therefore necessary for a fair trial. Khadr is seeking documents that Canada allegedly provided to US authorities, along with videotapes of Khadr's 2003 interrogations at Guantanamo and uncensored transcripts.

Earlier this week, Khadr's lawyers argued [JURIST report] before a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that the court has jurisdiction to intervene in Khadr's case to determine whether only detainees found to be "unlawful enemy combatants" may be subject to a military commission [DOD materials], or if such hearings also apply to "enemy combatants." Khadr, now 21, faces life imprisonment after allegedly throwing a grenade that killed one US soldier and wounded another while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, as well as spying. Khadr's trial was originally scheduled to begin May 5, but last month US military judge Col. Peter Brownback postponed the trial [JURIST report] and instead scheduled a May 8 hearing in order to hear arguments on a number of evidence issues that must be reconciled before the trial can begin. AP has more.

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