Gabe Rottman,
Legislative Counsel,
ACLU Washington Legislative Office
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May 31, 2007

The Canadian press has been doing a bang-up job of following the Khadr story closely (as has the Australian media with David Hicks—which was undoubtedly one of the reasons he received such a lenient plea deal). The Toronto Star has this workup on Khadr’s request to fire all of his American lawyers.He now only wants Canadian counsel to represent him, but it’s unclear whether that can fly given the requirement that a military lawyer be present for the defense at all times. Again, remember Khadr was 15 when he allegedly tossed a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan that killed a Delta Force soldier. He is now 20.I actually have an honest question here. Not to be callous, and I certainly honor the memory of the fallen American soldier (especially post Memorial Day), but why would such a combat related incident permit war crimes liability? If you know, let me know. I’ll also research. In any event, here’s from the Toronto Star (Vokey is the military attorney Khadr dismissed):

“I’m disappointed but I just want what’s best for Omar,” Vokey said yesterday.”I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t trust American lawyers, especially ones in uniform, after what he has been through.”

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