Khadr hearing still on despite defence, prosecution request for delay

20Jan09

omar-khadrThe U.S. military commission proceedings against Omar Khadr at its infamous Guantanamo Bay prison remained on life support Saturday after a military judge nixed a joint request by both defence and prosecution to delay hearings until incoming U.S. president Barack Obama takes office on Tuesday.

Col. Patrick Parrish’s decision late Friday evening came despite the unusual joint plea to call off the military commission proceedings in the “interests of justice.” ‘Prosecutors’ unexpected agreement to the defence requests signals a clear recognition that the commissions are about to be stopped,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer.

Military officials were playing a game of ‘hot potato’ in “a final charade before president-elect Obama puts an end to the sham Guantanamo tribunals,” he said.

But the chief prosecutor, Col. Lawrence Morris, said he fully expected the case against Khadr to proceed Monday despite a “technical error” made by the commission authority in withdrawing and again laying charges against the accused.

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