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Khadr military commission trial delayed until at least November

[JURIST] A US military judge has scheduled the trial of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] for November 10, but the Canadian citizen's lawyer said Tuesday that the date is likely to be pushed back further. According to a schedule set by US Army Col. Patrick Parrish, who is serving as judge for the military commission proceedings [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], the trial would run through November 23 and would resume in December if not completed. Khadr's military lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, said that if Parrish grants a defense motion for independent psychological and psychiatric examinations [Globe and Mail report], another delay in the proceedings is "very likely." Khadr's trial had been scheduled for October [JURIST report], but Parrish postponed it [Toronto Star report] last week so that prosecutors could disclose additional evidence to the defense. Reuters has more. Canadian Press has local coverage.

Khadr faces possible life imprisonment if convicted of crimes allegedly committed at the age of 15 while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive]. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying. He is one of four [JURIST report] Guantanamo detainees facing prosecution under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [text, PDF].

Also on Tuesday, Canadian government lawyers argued [Canadian Press report] before an Ontario court that evidence against Khadr's older brother Abdullah should remain secret to protect national security. Abdullah Khadr is facing extradition to the United States on charges [JURIST reports] of membership in a terrorist group and procurement of destructive devices. He has admitted to attending an al Qaeda training camp at age 13 but has denied belonging to the organization or supplying weapons to it. Members of the Khadr family [CBC backgrounder] emigrated to Canada from Egypt in 1977 and are suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden.

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