Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Omar Khadr not a security risk: government lawyer

And the case of the Harper Conservatives vs. the charter rights of Omar Khadr gets even weaker:

A federal lawyer conceded Tuesday that she cannot "point to any risks" if Omar Khadr were repatriated to Canada.

Doreen Mueller made the admission Tuesday under repeated grilling from Federal Court of Appeal judges on why the Canadian government refuses to seek the return of the Canadian terror suspect from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"If the government makes the request, is there a negative impact on its security interests?" asked Justice Karen Sharlow.

"If that were the conclusion . . . I can't point to any risks," said Mueller.

Which is probably why the Harper Conservatives won't move to repatriate him. They know he's not a security risk, and they know the case against him wouldn't hold-up in a Canadian court. So better to let Khadr languish in Gitmo in legal limbo then see justice be done.

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ken said...

You are right Khadr could languish in prison forever if not in Guantanamo somewhere else. The great agent of change Obama will institute revised tribunals but still allowing some hearsay evidence etc. but also allows for indefinite detention if someone is regarded as a security risk a complete rejection of habeas corpus:

No new trial date has been set and the Obama administration has not announced whether Khadr will stay in the military tribunal system. But the judge warned Khadr that switching lawyers would not necessarily win him further delays.

"It's not the first unfairness I'm going through," Khadr replied. "I'm expecting more unfairness."

The Obama administration is sorting the 240 Guantanamo detainees into four groups -- those to be released or transferred to other countries, those to be tried in the regular U.S. federal courts, those to be tried in revised military tribunals, and those to be detained indefinitely because they cannot be prosecuted but pose a threat.

Obama has been deluged with criticism, especially after announcing he would move some foreign terrorism suspects to maximum security prisons in the United States.

He also outraged liberal supporters with his decision to keep the widely criticized Guantanamo tribunals established by the Bush administration, but is rejigging the rules to limit hearsay evidence and ban the use of evidence obtained through cruelty and coercion. (Editing by Jim Loney and Alan Elsner)

Karen said...

Ken, while I don't dispute your excellent summary, it doesn't address the lack of action on the part of our government.

What we are contributing to is deplorable.