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The Khadr file – justice finally served

As a long time follower of this case and someone who decried a couple of different Canadian governments refusing to speak up about the farce taking place at Guanatanamo Bay masquerading as actual legal proceedings, and ignoring both the Charte and international treaties with regards to child soldiers, I’m pleased to see the Trudeau government has finally addressed the 2 Supreme Court rulings and the violation of Charter Rights and righted a very serious wrong with Omar Khadr by settling out of court with him and issuing an apology (and this wasn’t some “secret deal” as gone but not lamented Stephen Harper charged – it was court-mediated.. and how many […]

Supreme Court Smackdown of Harper.. again

One would almost think the Supreme Court is getting tired of the Conservative government’s vendetta against Omar Khadr:

The country’s top court swiftly dismissed the Conservative government’s latest attempt to see former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr dealt with as a hardened offender deserving of more time in an adult federal penitentiary. It was a rare judgment issued from the bench that came after little more than two hours of oral argument on Thursday. And it is the third time that Ottawa has lost in matters involving Omar Khadr at the Supreme Court of Canada…At the end, the high court upheld an earlier ruling of the Alberta Court of Appeal, […]

Some justice finally for Omar Khadr

Nice to see some long-delayed fairness and justice taking place this morning:

“Mr. Khadr you’re free to go.” With those words, Alberta Court of Appeal Justice Myra Bielby turned down the federal government’s last-ditch effort Thursday to keep the 28-year-old detained. Khadr and his supporters in the courtroom erupted in cheers when the decision was read…

The decision left Paul Champ, an Ottawa lawyer specializing in military law, with a positive feeling about Canada’s legal system, he said.“The government never had any solid legal arguments,” Champ said in an interview. “It was clear that their position was political rather than legal.“I’m proud to live in a country where judges can […]

The right thing done.

I haven’t said much on Omar Khadr’s return; I’ve been reading with a mixture of amusement and disgust the right wing vitriol over this decision. The Conservatives apparently had good reason to fear their right-wing “base” reaction to Khadr being returned, if the reaction on Twitter and blogs are any indication.

All I will say is this: It is the right decision to make. The government may or may not have been pressured by the US into taking Khadr back (which John Baird claimed, and which a US envoy denied), but it’s the right move, regardless. It will now give authorities the opportunity to try and rehabilitate Khadr for his […]

No shock here on the Conservative foot-dragging on Omar Khadr

A column in the Star today about how the Canadian government has been doing nothing to live up to its agreement it made with the US and Omar Khadr’s lawyers to bring Khadr home and out of the Guantanamo gulag:

Various United States officials have complained that Canada’s insolence is harming not only Omar, but U.S. interests. The United States’ credibility is damaged when it enters plea agreements that it cannot fulfill because the detainee’s own country will not hold up its end of the deal. Last week, the U.S. transferred Ibrahim al Qosi from Guantanamo to Sudan, where he arrived a free man. The U.S. can trust Sudan to […]

Conservatives: those diplomats let Khadr come home

So yesterday, we find out Canada was negotiating all along with the US in agreeing to a plea bargain, despite Foreign Minister Cannon’s claims to the contrary (which he ridiculously tried to continue using in Question Period yesterday). Today, Brian Lilley of the Sun writes there was a bitter Cabinet argument over the fact Canada had accepted the plea agreement, and now there are apparently “top Conservatives” blaming Canadian diplomats for exceeding their authority:

The deal appears to have been sealed while Prime Minister Stephen Harper was travelling in Europe and there is the suggestion that foreign affairs officials used this time to offer and accept more than Harper was […]

Loose cannons sometimes blow holes in their own defences

Everyone is aware by now of the farce known as the Omar Khadr showtrial and it’s conclusions by the military jury deciding to not only accept the prosecutor’s recommendation of 25 years, but to go 15 years over that. A symbolic gesture, not only because it was meaningless with Khadr’s plea bargain (a move that appears now to have been correct; the Defence council obviously knew how this would end up), but of how everything was stacked against Khadr from the beginning in this carbon-copy of a Stalinist show-trial (minus the executions). I’ll only note that it’s very interesting to me that this military jury asked to hear the testimony […]

Pick your poison is what Omar Khadr faced.

Given a choice between a stacked military tribunal/kangaroo court, presided over by a Military Judge who had been hand-picked by Bush (who replaced the former Military Judge who had actually given Khadr’s legal team some procedural victories, and was suddenly “re-assigned” in the middle of the trial without explanation) which was going to almost certainly give Khadr life imprisonment (this is the system after all that was set up so that there would be no acquittals, which a former Bush official infamously said), or to do a guilty plea bargain that allowed him to get out of Guantanamo after a year and able to serve the rest of his sentence […]

The Khadr ruling

Basically, the Supreme Court has split the middle with it’s ruling on Khadr; his Charter Rights have been violated and continue to be violated, but they’ve ruled that for now (I say “for now” because some media are reporting that the ruling states that the SC may act in the future to provide the remedy if the government fails to act) , it’s up to the Government of Canada to provide a remedy for that, and they won’t force the government to call for Khadr’s repatriation, even if that’s considered a good remedy (As stated at his Twitter page by one of the reporters covering this, the Supreme Court provided […]

Why is the Justice Dept asking the Supreme Court to quickly decide if they’ll hear the Khadr case or not?

Very interesting news today about the Omar Khadr case and the government’s decision to appeal to the Supreme Court; it appears some people’s suspicions (including me) about the government filing this appeal to stall on acting on Khadr may have been incorrect; the government is asking the SC to speed up a decision from them on whether or not to hear the case:

In an unusual move, federal lawyers swiftly filed written arguments to the Supreme Court of Canada yesterday, and asked for an expedited decision from the judges on whether to allow an appeal to proceed. A hearing is not automatic…Even Khadr’s Canadian lawyers were surprised by how quickly […]

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