Canada court gives govt deadline on Guantanamo child case

Canada's federal court on Monday gave the government up to seven days to remedy its breach of Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's rights.

Canada court gives govt deadline on Guantanamo child case

Canada's federal court on Monday gave the government up to seven days to remedy its breach of Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr's rights.

In its ruling, the federal court said the government has so far failed to suitably rectify the transgression, even after being ordered to do so by Canada's highest court at the start of the year.

Khadr is entitled to "procedural fairness and natural justice," judge Russell Zinn said in his decision. "The steps taken to date were found not to remedy the breach."

"Canada is expected to continue advancing potential curative and ameliorative remedies until the breach of Mr. Khadr's Charter rights have been cured, or if no cure is possible, until the breach has been ameliorated, or if there is no remedy, until it has exhausted all possible remedies," he said.

The judge ordered both Ottawa and Khadr to weigh in on possible remedies. If his deadline lapses with no change in Khadr's situation, the federal court said it may step in and impose a remedy, such as ordering Ottawa to seek his repatriation.

US agents in Afghanistan kidnapped Khadr when he was just 15 years old in July 2002. He was later charged with war crimes for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier.

The last Westerner at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Khadr, now 23, is to have his case heard by a US military tribunal on August 10.

The Supreme Court said Canada breached Khadr's rights by sending intelligence agents to interrogate him in 2003 and 2004 and then sharing their information with the United States. Khadr's continuing detention at the U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba meant his rights were still being infringed, the court ruled.

In response, Canada formally asked the United States not to use any of the information provided by Canadian agents during Khadr's upcoming trial. The United States refused to do so.

Zinn said "Khadr did not receive fairness" from the Canadian government. Khadr lawyer Nathan Whitling welcomed Zinn's decision, saying Ottawa had violated his client's rights by not properly enforcing the Supreme Court ruling.

"My own view is that this government is either extraordinarily ill-informed as to the law that governs its actions or it has some sort of actual malice or dislike for Mr Khadr which is causing it to act in ... an unlawful manner," Whitling told Reuters.

The government could decide to appeal the ruling to the Federal Court of Appeal. A spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon said officials were reviewing the decision.

The Canadian government has still refused to seek his repatriation, saying it preferred to allow the US proceedings to run their course, despite pressure from opposition parties and rights groups.

The latest judgment comes after Khadr's lawyers asked the federal court to review the government's response to the Supreme Court ruling.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2010, 14:59

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE