Judge rules Khadr confession admissible

NATIONALPOST…U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO, Cuba — The judge in Omar Khadr’s war crimes case has ruled that self-incriminating statements the Toronto native made during interrogations are admissible at trial – and were not the product of torture, as the defence claimed.
The judge also ruled that a video apparently showing Khadr making and planting land mines is admissible, rejecting the defence argument it was obtained based on information coerced from Khadr.
Omar Khadr has pleaded not guilty to all five war crimes charges he faces at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, among them the murder of Special Forces Sgt. First Class Chris Speer, who died in a grenade attack.
Earlier Monday, in a video shown at the Canadian-born terror suspect’s hearing, he warns Guantanamo Bay guards trying to weigh him for the International Red Cross that “God will take … revenge” on the United States.
“I am here in prison, but there are millions of people outside,” Mr. Khadr says in the May 2006 clip. “What’s happening to you is not for nothing.”
Khadr’s defence opposes a prosecution bid to have the video admitted into evidence at his trial, which is expected to begin Tuesday with selection of U.S. military officers who’ll serve on the jury as commission “members.”
Mr. Khadr, 23, alleges in a February 2008 affidavit that guards mistreated him during the weighing session, claiming they “pressed on my pressure points.”
The clip appears to show the guards somewhat restrained as they push him toward the scale and point out that all his “brothers” — a reference to other detainees — had allowed themselves to be weighed without protest.
“Come on man, it’s not that bad,” says a guard after Mr. Khadr claimed the treatment was a “very small example of what’s really going on” at the detention facility.
“We’re not doing this to hurt you, torture you,” another guard’s voice is heard saying, amid explanations that his weight was simply needed for his health record and Red Cross review records.
Indeed, after Mr. Khadr had spent about 20 minutes resisting the guards, there came indications that he had been playing to the camera as he switched from the English he used to speak to the guards, to Arabic to speak with fellow detainees in nearby cells.
“May God reward him. The camera is with him,” a detainee shouts in Arabic, which had been translated in subtitles.
Mr. Khadr was in court to watch the video after saying at his last hearing last month that he intended to boycott further sessions, saying he didn’t want to help the United States further its “political goals.”
Monday’s session had been scheduled to essentially conclude defence arguments that a slew of prosecution evidence — mostly self-incriminating statements Mr. Khadr had made, but also the “weighing” video — should be “suppressed.”
Army Col. Patrick Parrish, presiding judge, is expected to rule later Monday on the defence request, which contends that Khadr made the self-incriminating statements to a series of officers after enduring interrogations that involved the use of coercive techniques.
Mr. Khadr, 15, at the time of his capture in Afghanistan in July 2002, faced interrogations at the U.S. base in Bagram in that country before being transferred to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in October 2002, where he remains.
“By the time he left Bagram, he was broken … by the actions of people in uniform … specifically Interrogator No. 1,” said Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed attorney, as he referred to Khadr’s chief Bagram interrogator — a soldier who was later convicted in a court martial for “maltreatment” of another detainee.
Lt.-Col. Jackson recalled that the interrogator had sought to frighten Khadr by making up a story of how an uncooperative Muslim detainee had been dispatched to a U.S. prison and raped there by other inmates.
“Once he said those words to Mr. Khadr, the well was poisoned, and the government can’t cleanse the well … by saying someone (else) came in and was nice to him,” Lt.-Col. Jackson told the court.
“To him, when he was interrogated, all those faces were the same.”
Lt.-Col. Jackson urged the judge to consider the “outcry” by the U.S. government if a U.S. soldier had been the victim of such a scenario.
“Tell the world that we actually stand for what we say we stand for,” Lt.-Col. Jackson said to the judge.
But air force Capt. Chris Eason, one of the prosecutors, said Mr. Khadr had switched to speaking in detail about his alleged actions not because he had faced any tough interrogation, but after the United States presented him with a video U.S. forces had found that showed the Toronto native appearing to take part in a mine-making and laying operation.
Capt. Eason quoted from the earlier testimony of one of the interrogators, who said: “That’s when the floodgates opened.”
According to Capt. Eason, statements in which Mr. Khadr speaks of tossing the hand grenade that fatally wounded a U.S. soldier, and other matters relating to his alleged terrorist background, should be admitted as evidence at trial.
“It’s truth that we can rely on,” he said.
Mr. Khadr faces up to life in prison if convicted of the five charges he faces.

6 Replies to “Judge rules Khadr confession admissible”

  1. Shooting the little bastard would be more appropriate, but what do we in Canada, beautiful British Columbia, do about the rest of thekhader scum?

  2. According sick lib Irwin Cotler, Canada’s own BernieSanders, Khard is a “child soldier” and we should have empathy and sympathy. Cotler has done more to release Khadr than to release Gilad Shalit. He is only in the govt for the pension and the idiot Jews who vote for him deserve to be slapped. But what do you want from these fools in the Mount Roayl riding?

    Thse are the sons and daughters of the parents who voted for Pierre Trudeau ( 3x); an unapologetic Jew hater.

    When it comes to business, Jews can be cut throat ( as anyone should be, especially in these times). But when it comes to their survival, they are useless lambs to a slaughter, dependent on Christian Men and Women in the military to save them while their sons and daughters study to be lawyers and accountants.

  3. There are jews who get mate, Israelis being a grand example, now if anybody happened to know the khader family residence address a “protest” could be arranged, implying no threat of violence, like setting the place on fire. Dirty times
    call for dirty measures.

  4. There are jews who get it, mate, Israelis being a grand example, now if anybody happened to know the khader family residence address a “protest” could be arranged, implying no threat of violence, like setting the place on fire. Dirty times
    call for dirty measures.

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