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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Khadr lawyers file emergency motion after Canada declines to seek repatriation
Daniel Makosky at 11:36 AM ET

[JURIST] Lawyers representing Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] filed an emergency motion Wednesday in the Canadian Federal Court [official website] challenging a diplomatic note sent by the Canadian government to the US State Department [official website]. The note asks that all evidence collected by Canadian officials be omitted [press release] from any US proceedings against Khadr but declines to seek his repatriation. Khadr's legal team cited constitutional objections [CBC report] and accused the government of acting in bad faith by declining to request Khadr's repatriation and for failing to consult them prior to issuing the note.

Earlier this month, the Harper administration announced [JURIST report] that it would not pursue Khadr's repatriation. The statement came after the Supreme Court of Canada ruled [text; JURIST report] in January that the government was not obligated to seek his return to Canada despite having violated his rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Canadian officials questioned Khadr, who was captured at age 15, despite knowing that he was being indefinitely detained and had been subjected to sleep deprivation by US authorities. Still, the court held that forcing the government to press for Khadr's return was not an appropriate remedy, as such an order would overreach the court's authority. The ruling overturned a Federal Court of Appeals decision, which upheld a lower court order [JURIST reports] requiring the federal government to seek Khadr's repatriation.

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