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Canada court orders release of Khadr brother

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice [official website] on Wednesday ordered the release of Abdullah Khadr, the brother of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] after staying a US extradition request. Abdullah Khadr has been detained by Canadian authorities since December 2005 on a US arrest warrant for terrorism issued by the US Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts [official website]. He was captured by Pakistani forces the year prior at the request of the US government which suspected him of securing weapons for al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Justice Christopher Speyer called the decision one of last resort [The Star report] which was necessary due to the illegal nature of Abdullah Khadr's detention. Abdullah Khadr's lawyers had argued that the evidence that US and Canadian authorities were relying on consisted only of coerced statements that were made under duress after torture. While acknowledging that extradition requests from the US were rarely denied [CBC report], Speyer emphasized the exceptional nature of this case and the unreliability of the evidence against Abdullah Khadr. He was released following the decision. The Canadian government has 30 days to appeal, but has not announced whether it will do so.

In 2006, the Ontario court held that the US could seek extradition against Abdullah Khadr. The previous month, the US government formally requested his extradition [JURIST report] from Canada. He was indicted in 2006 [JURIST report] by a US federal grand jury on four counts connected to his alleged procurement of destructive devices to be used against US forces in Afghanistan in 2003 and faces a possible life sentence and a USD $1,000,000 fine. Former US Attorney Michael Sullivan said he plans to pursue the extradition "aggressively." Abdullah Khadr admitted to attending an al Qaeda training camp at age 13, but denies the allegations of membership in the group or of supplying weapons to it. Another of Abdullah Khadr's brothers, Abdul Rahman Khadr, was released from Guantanamo in 2003.

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