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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Khadr seeking suppression of interrogation statements at military commission trial
Dwyer Arce at 2:51 PM ET

[JURIST] Lawyers representing Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive], a Canadian currently being detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], say they will seek to suppress statements he made during interrogation at a preliminary hearing to begin Wednesday. The hearing is to be the last before his US military commission [JURIST news archive] trial in July, the first to commence under the Obama administration, which suspended the military commissions [WP report] after his inauguration in January 2009. Khadr's defense team plans to bring forward [Reuters report] as many as thirty guards, interrogators, and witnesses to testify that incriminating statements made by Khadr were the product of torture. Khadr's defense lawyers claim that Khadr was subject to 142 interrogations at both Bagram Air Base [JURIST news archive] and Guantanamo Bay. Prosecutors have described these claims as baseless, and have countered [G&M report] that Khadr's treatment at the hands of interrogators was humane. The Obama administration has also been seeking the extradition of Khadr's brother Abdullah Khadr, currently detained by Canadian authorities in Toronto, for trial in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website]. Abdullah is suspected of supplying weapons to al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder].

Khadr's lawyers filed an emergency motion [JURIST report] in February in the Federal Court of Canada [official website] challenging the decision of the Canadian government not to seek his repatriation from the United States [JURIST report]. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled [JURIST report] in January that the government was not obligated to seek Khadr's return to Canada despite having violated his rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text]. Khadr has allegedly admitted to throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier in Afghanistan, and was charged [JURIST reports] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.

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