[JURIST] A lawyer for former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [JURIST news archive] asked the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton Tuesday to release his client on bail while his US war crimes appeal is being considered. Nathan Whitling argued [Canadian Press report] that his client’s appeal is taking too long to process, and Khadr’s sentence may be completed before a decision is reached. Khadr, 27, is a Canadian citizen who was captured by US forces after being found fighting in Afghanistan in 2002. He spent eight years in Guantanamo before being convicted on five charges and sentenced to eight years in prison for war crimes. The US transferred [JURIST report] Khadr to Canada in 2012. Khadr was transferred to a provincial correctional facility [JURIST report] in Canada in July. The lawyer representing the US federal government opposed the request for bail and warned that granting bail to Khadr would affect the transfer of prisoner system between the US and Canada.
The US military prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] has continued to generate controversy. In February the US Department of Defense overturned [JURIST report] a rule that would have attempted to speed up the litigation process in military commission prosecutions by requiring judges to relocate to Guantanamo. In January a group of US senators proposed legislation [JURIST report] that would place a moratorium on the releases or transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo. Also in January a lawyer for former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks said the US government admitted the conviction was incorrect [JURIST report] and did not dispute Hicks’ innocence.