Saturday, May 31, 2008

More on the sacked judge at Guatanamo Military Commission (UPDATED)

Click on the title for the update.... seems the military is desperately looking for judges, this particular judge offered to stay on after his term ends at the end of June but the military said "no thanks" and pulled him out early...

Pentagon dismisses judge in Khadr military commission trial

Andrew Gilmore at 10:11 AM ET

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[JURIST] The US Department of Defense (DOD) [official website] on Thursday dismissed the military judge presiding over the military commission trial of Canadian Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr [DOD materials; JURIST news archive]. No explanation was given for the dismissal of Col. Peter Brownback [JURIST news archive], but Khadr's defense lawyers speculated that it was was related to Brownback's threat earlier this month to suspend the military commission proceedings [JURIST report] against Khadr until the US government submits daily records of Khadr's detention. Khadr's military lawyers had requested the records to corroborate allegations of abusive treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. In November 2007, Reuters reported that at a pre-trial hearing in the Khadr case, Brownback said that the Pentagon was unhappy with his decisions in the case, and that he had "taken a lot of heat" [Reuters report] for dismissing charges against Khadr [JURIST report] in June 2007. Those charges were later reinstated [JURIST report]. AP has more. Reuters has additional coverage.

Khadr, 21, faces life imprisonment for crimes allegedly committed at the age of 15 while fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was charged [charge sheet, PDF; JURIST report] in April 2007 with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism, as well as spying. In April, Brownback ruled [PDF text] that Khadr was not a child soldier when he was captured in Afghanistan. Khadr's lawyers had asked for the case to be dismissed [JURIST report] saying that it violated the Optional Protocol of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child [text], which gives special protection to children under 18 involved in armed conflicts.


Marina Handwerk said...

I'm a junior in high school and I want to be a lawyer. I've been reading your blog and I just wanted to say I really admire what you're doing. It's horrible that people can be arbitrarily locked up in Guantanamo and denied basic human rights. Good luck with your cases.

The Law Office of H. Candace Gorman said...

Thank you Marina. It is an honorable profession and I am very proud to be a lawyer. It is for this reason that I take it so seriously when other lawyers abuse the profession. I hope that when you become a lawyer you will not forget the criminal lawyers that worked to enable the Bush administration and that you will do your best to keep lawyers like that out of the profession.
Best of luck to you.