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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Supreme Court refuses to block Khadr military trial
Zach Zagger at 4:01 PM ET

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[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] on Friday refused to block the military trial of Canadian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. The Supreme Court issued a one-line order denying the Khadr's petition for a stay. The order had no noted dissents and offered no explanation of the ruling. The trial is scheduled to begin August 10 at the US military base at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr's US military lawyer, Lt.-Colonel Jon Jackson, filed a petition [JURIST report] on Monday asking the Supreme Court either to issue a writ of mandamus [Cornell LII backgrounder] forcing the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] to rule on a similar petition or for the Supreme Court to grant the stay because there was little time before the trial.

Last month, the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] allowed Khadr to amend [JURIST report] his 2004 habeas corpus petition, but refused to lift the stay on the petition pending the conclusion of his military commission. Also in July, Khadr rejected a plea deal [JURIST report] offered by the US government, which would have resulted in a five-year prison sentence. Khadr is facing murder and terrorism charges [JURIST report] for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed one US soldier and injured another. If he is found guilty, he could face a life sentence. Khadr's defense lawyers have repeatedly sought his repatriation [JURIST report] to Canada on the basis that the Canadian government's refusal to request repatriation from the US violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text].

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