[JURIST] The Court of Appeal for Ontario [official website] on Friday upheld [judgment] a decision to halt extradition proceedings for Abdullah Khadr, an accused al Qaeda supporter and conspirator. Abdullah Khadr is the older brother of Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], the youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. According to the appeals court, a Toronto judge was right to release Abdullah Khadr [JURIST report] last summer because extraditing him to the US would be tantamount to ignoring that he was allegedly subjected to torture in Pakistan at the behest of the US. The court said:
The rule of law must prevail even in the face of the dreadful threat of terrorism. We must adhere to our democratic and legal values, even if that adherence serves in the short term to benefit those who oppose and seek to destroy those values. For if we do not, in the longer term, the enemies of democracy and the rule of law will have succeeded. They will have demonstrated that our faith in our legal order is unable to withstand their threats.
The Toronto judge noted that Canada is still free to prosecute Abdullah Khadr itself. Additionally, Canada’s government has 60 days to appeal Friday’s decision.
Abdullah Khadr was detained by Canadian law enforcement in summer 2005 on the basis of a US warrant. In February 2006, the US government formally requested his extradition [JURIST report] from Canada. He was indicted [JURIST report] in 2006 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.