By Mark Tran
Wednesday 25 April 2007
A human rights group today attacked a
Omar Khadr was wounded by US soldiers during a battle near
During his capture he was shot three times and is nearly blind in one eye as a result of his injuries. The
Mr Khadr's Pentagon-appointed lawyer, Marine lieutenant colonel Colby Vokey, said the
Mr Khadr has been charged with murder, attempted murder, providing support to terrorism, conspiracy and spying under rules for military trials adopted last year. The conspiracy charge is based on acts allegedly committed before Mr Khadr was 10, according to his defence team.
Amnesty International strongly criticised the decision to subject Mr Khadr to a military tribunal.
"To have held a 15-year-old boy in the harsh and lawless conditions of Guantánamo for five years has already been a travesty of justice - and to put him before an unfair 'military commission' trial simply adds to a disgraceful record in his case," said the Amnesty International UK director Kate Allen.
Ms Allen said the
Toronto-born Mr Khadr faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
The Pentagon said Mr Khadr must be held accountable.
"The defence department will continue to uphold the law and bring unlawful enemy combatants to justice through the military commissions process," it said.
Mr Speer's widow and Mr Morris filed a civil lawsuit against Mr Khadr and his father. In February, a judge awarded them $102.6m (£51m).
Dennis Edney, a Canadian lawyer for Mr Khadr's family, said the new tribunal system, which allows coerced and hearsay evidence, "provides Mr Khadr with almost no chance of proving his innocence.
"The aim is to provide a showcase to justify the
Mr Khadr's attorneys urged
Several of Mr Khadr's family members have been accused of ties to Islamist extremists. His Egyptian-born father, Ahmad Said al-Khadr, was killed in
Mr Khadr will be the second prisoner to face terror charges under new military tribunals after the
In March, the military tribunal at Guantánamo sentenced an Australian, David Hicks, to nine months in prison after he pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism - the first conviction at a
Under an agreement with the court, he will serve his sentence in an Australian prison, but must remain silent about any alleged abuse while in
"We are increasingly concerned that with 80% of Guantánamo detainees now held in solitary confinement, there is mounting evidence that some are dangerously close to full-blown mental and physical breakdown," Amnesty said.