October 15, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - According to the Toronto Star [Behind-the-scenes negotiations in Khadr case] Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, charged with killing Sgt. Christopher Speer and injuring several of his comrades with a grenade in a 2002 fire fight in Afghanistan, might well be freed early in a pleas bargain which would demand that he serve 8 additional years.
At the time of the attack, Khadr was 15 years old.
Though his defense team stresses that he was impressed into service, Khadr [a Canadian citizen] has close familial ties to senior al-Qaeda leaders, his father Ahmed Said Khadr [killed in 2003] is reported to have been an al-Qaeda financier.
The White House - always reluctant to prosecute GITMO terror detainees - is believed to be under pressure from Canada and the UN, to deal with Khadr as if he was indeed a child soldier, forced at gun point into fighting against American forces in Afghanistan.
The New York Times - usually a reliable pro-defense bar voice in such matters - chimed in on the matter melodramatically, "After working for a year to redeem the international reputation of military commissions, Obama administration officials are alarmed by the first case to go to trial under revamped rules: the prosecution of a former child soldier whom an American interrogator implicitly threatened with gang rape." [source, U.S. Wary of Example Set by Tribunal Case]
Apparently in the eyes of the Times, the possibility of prison gang rape, overrides actions taken by Khadr on the field of battle. If accepted this would be a universal defense which would apply in any case where a defendant is facing a prison sentence.
The Canadian government has been rumored to also applying leverage to team Obama, though no one is yet willing to go on the record to that effect. [source, Toronto Star]
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