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owen at permafrost.net owen at permafrost.net
Mon Nov 10 21:05:02 PST 2008

This encourages me some.

Obama could halt Khadr's Guantanamo Bay trial

NEW YORK - The prospect that Omar Khadr will see his Guantanamo Bay terrorism trial cancelled rose Monday as it emerged that Barack Obama's advisers were seeking ways he can make scrapping the Bush administration's military commission system one of his first presidential acts.

Khadr's lawyer expressed confidence no traditional military or civilian court will hear the case on grounds they don't accept evidence gathered as a result of coercion, which the Canadian-born youth claims occurred when he made self-incriminating statements.

"If Obama follows through, there won't be a military commission prosecution, and Omar will be either detained indefinitely with other detainees, which we think would be politically unacceptable for Canada, or he'll be transferred for federal prosecution in the United States, or repatriated to face due process in Canada," said Lt.- Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Khadr's Pentagon-appointed lawyer.

"Either of the last two options would be fine with us, since they are consistent with what we've been asking for all along."

Kuebler was also dismissive of the possibility that Khadr - accused of killing a U.S. soldier in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan - could face prosecution in a special "terrorist" court Obama's team is said to be weighing to try accused terrorists whose cases involve the presentation of highly classified information.

"I would expect they would limit that court's jurisdiction to real terrorists," said Kuebler, who's argued Khadr, raised in terrorist settings in Pakistan and Afghanistan ahead of his capture at age 15, has been a victim of circumstance.

President-elect Obama has described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter" in U.S. history, and said traditional U.S. military and civilian courts "provide a framework" for prosecuting detainees at the camps in the naval base on Cuba.


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