Friday Release for Prime Minister of Canada Et Al. v. Omar Ahmed Khadr

The Supreme Court announced this morning that it would release Prime Minister of Canada et al. v. Omar Ahmed Khadr on Friday morning.

Mr. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was taken prisoner in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old and has been detained by U.S. Forces since 2002 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is currently facing murder and other terrorism‑related charges. During his detention, Mr. Khadr was given no special status as a minor. He was not allowed to communicate with anyone outside Guantanamo Bay until November 2004, when he met with legal counsel for the first time. The Canadian Government has asked, through diplomatic channels, for consular access and other assurances, but it is its policy not to request his repatriation until the conclusion of the prosecution. In 2003, Canadian officials questioned Mr. Khadr, still a minor, at Guantanamo Bay, with respect to matters connected to the charges he is now facing, and shared the product of these interviews with U.S. authorities. In 2006, after formal charges were laid against him, Mr. Khadr sought disclosure in Canada of, notably, the records of the interviews conducted at Guantanamo Bay. The Supreme Court of Canada ordered the disclosure (“Khadr 2008”). After the information was disclosed, it became clear that when the officials interviewed Mr. Khadr, they were aware that he had been subjected to a form of sleep deprivation, known as the “frequent flyer program”, to make him more amenable and willing to talk. Mr. Khadr asked the Canadian Government to repatriate him, but to no avail. He sought judicial review of the policy and decision of the Canadian Government not to seek his repatriation. The Federal Court granted his application and ordered the Government to seek his repatriation from the U.S. as soon as practicable. In a majority decision, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the Government’s appeal.

According to the National Post, U.S. officials have announced that Khadr would face a military tribunal for his alleged crimes and he was expected to be transferred to a prison facility in Illinois.

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