Khadr lawyer reassigned after criticizing lead Pentagon defense lawyer

[JURIST] The US Navy on Friday reassigned Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler [JURIST news archive], a military lawyer who had been in charge of defending Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials, JURIST news archive], after Kuebler filed a formal complaint against a military official overseeing the case. Kuebler had worked on the case for two years before he was fired after alleging [Globe and Mail report] that the military's chief Guantanamo defense lawyer, Colonel Peter Masciola, had a conflict of interest in overseeing the case. Kuebler said Masciola should be removed from the case because Masciola said Khadr should also face civil liability for the alleged killing of a US soldier, despite his role overseeing Khadr's defense. Khadr is the only Canadian citizen currently being held in Guantanamo, and Canadian officials have said they may investigate [Star report] the circumstances surrounding Kuebler's removal.

Kuebler has long criticized Masciola's handling of the case, and in February said [JURIST report] that he had prompted an investigation of the defense team's ethics based on Masciola's leadership. In January, a US intelligence official said in pre-trial testimony that Khadr admitted [JURIST report] he threw a grenade that killed a US soldier in 2002. He has been charged [text, PDF] with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists, and spying. In January, US President Barack Obama [official profile] ordered [text; JURIST report] Secretary of Defense Robert Gates [official profile] to halt all military-commission proceedings involving Guantanamo detainees pending a review of their detentions. That month, a military judge granted [text, PDF] the Obama administration's request for a continuance of Khadr's case until May 20.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.