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Canada intelligence service criticized for role in interrogating Khadr

[JURIST] The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) [official website] was criticized [press release] by the Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) [official website] Wednesday for its role in interrogating Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. The committee reported [text] that the intelligence agency failed to consider Khadr's age and human rights issues regarding alleged mistreatment by US authorities during interviews. The report states that the detainee's age should have been taken into account because Canadian and international law dictates that minors are entitled to special consideration. SIRC chairman Gary Filmon suggested that CSIS "undertake a fundamental reassessment of how it carries out its work," stressing that it is important for the agency to demonstrate its capability of conducting operations abroad. The report additionally alleges that the service violated policies on confidentiality by allowing US authorities to videotape the interrogations. Also on Wednesday, Khadr reaffirmed his previous request [JURIST report] to have his US military lawyers dismissed from his case [AP report] for arguing and disagreeing among themselves. Khadr told the judge that he did not trust the military lawyers or their office.

The disputes among the members of Khadr's US defense team arose from chief defense counsel Colonel Peter Masciola's efforts to dismiss Lieutenant Commander William Kuebler [JURIST news archive] as lead counsel for Khadr after Kuebler filed a formal complaint against Masciola alleging a conflict of interest. After Masciola removed Kuebler [JURIST report] from the case, Parrish reinstated him [JURIST report], ruling that Masciola did not have the authority to remove counsel. Kuebler has long criticized Masciola's handling of the case and, in February, stated that he had prompted the investigation [JURIST report] of the defense team's ethics based on Masciola's leadership. Khadr has maintained his desire to be represented by Canadian lawyers Dennis Edney and Nathan Whitling. In April, the Federal Court of Canada ruled [JURIST report] that Prime Minister Stephen Harper must advocate for Khadr's repatriation based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom [text]. Soon after the ruling, an official for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs [official website] confirmed [JURIST report] the government’s intention to appeal. Khadr has allegedly admitted to throwing a hand grenade [JURIST report] that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, and was charged [JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.

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