Canadian Guantanamo detainee fires American lawyers days before arraignment

[JURIST] Canadian Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr [Trial Watch profile; JURIST news archive] fired all of his American lawyers on Wednesday, days before he is scheduled to appear for arraignment before a US military commission [JURIST news archive]. According to his former Marine Corps lawyer Marine Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, Khadr fired both his Pentagon-appointed lawyer and a group of American law professors [JURIST audio] who have been involved in litigation on his behalf in the federal courts. Vokey told reporters that he understood how Khadr was unable to trust his American lawyers, saying that the US has submitted him to "a process that is patently unfair." Khadr's arraignment is scheduled for 8AM on Monday, at which he will be represented by two Canadian lawyers.

In April, the US Supreme Court declined to hear [JURIST report] a lawsuit by Khadr challenging the constitutionality of Congress' decision to deny habeas challenges by suspected terrorists under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [PDF text], one week after US military authorities formally brought new charges [charge sheet, PDF] of murder, supporting terrorism, conspiracy and spying in "violation of the law of war" against Khadr, the youngest known detainee at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The Miami Herald has more.



 

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