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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Khadr admitted throwing grenade that killed soldier: US interrogator
Jake Oresick at 12:34 PM ET

[JURIST] Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] admitted throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, according to the pre-trial testimony Monday of an American intelligence official. The official, identified as Interrogator 11, said Khadr expressed pride in learning he had caused the death of an American. Khadr's attorneys contend there are photographs and eye-witness accounts contradicting their client's alleged confession. Also Monday, special agent Robert Fuller testified that Khadr had identified former detainee and deported Canadian Maher Arar [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] by name when shown a photograph, saying he recognized Arar from an al Qaeda safe-house in Kabul. Notes taken at a 2002 FBI [official website] interrogation of Khadr emerged Tuesday that differ somewhat from Fuller's testimony, indicating Khadr only said Arar "looked familiar."

Rights groups have lobbied the Obama administration [joint letter text, PDF] to halt the trial [JURIST report] of Khadr, scheduled to begin January 26, as he was 15 years old at the time he allegedly threw a grenade that killed a US solider in 2002. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying in April 2007. The pre-trial hearing began Monday after a judge denied a request for a delay [JURIST report] of the proceedings.

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