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Friday, March 14, 2008

Khadr military judge orders US to turn over interrogation materials
Leslie Schulman at 4:45 PM ET

[JURIST] US military judge Col. Peter Brownback on Friday ruled that interrogation materials, including names of interrogators, relevant to the case of Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] must be turned over to Khadr's defense team. Earlier in the week it was unintentionally revealed [CP report] that one of Khadr's interrogators was Sgt. Joshua Claus, a US interrogator who later pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to maltreatment and assault of an Afghan detainee known as Dilawar [NYT report] who died in US custody. Brownback Friday also postponed a May 5 military commission trial date and compelled a US commander expected to testify on behalf of the government to be questioned by the Khadr defense team for alleging altering a combat report. On Thursday, Brownback ruled [JURIST report] that some correspondence between the US and Canadian government officials regarding Khadr had to be turned over to the defense. Prosecutors had argued that they had found no such correspondence in US State Department records, but Brownback ordered that they conduct another search. The Miami Herald has more.

Khadr, now 21, faces life imprisonment after allegedly throwing a grenade that killed US Sgt. Christopher Speer and wounded another while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, as well as spying. Khadr's military lawyer disclosed Thursday in preliminary proceedings that a US commander known only as "Lt. Col. W" changed key facts in a July 28, 2002 report on the incident in order to strengthen the government's case against Khadr. The original report said that the person who killed Speer was subsequently killed by US troops; the report was later altered to indicate that Speer's killer was merely "engaged" by US troops, and not killed. The report has been used to support the murder charges against Khadr. The Globe and Mail has more.

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