‘Boy Soldier’ Faces Gitmo Tribunal, Could Be First Under Obama Administration
Posted Feb 10, 2010 5:30 AM CST
By Molly McDonough
The youngest detainee at Guantanamo Bay—Omar Khadr, who was 15 when he is alleged to have thrown a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces medic in Afghanistan—is a lightning rod for criticism of the Obama administration over whether it's proper to try a child soldier.
His age and circumstances have U.N. officials, human rights advocates and his defense lawyers arguing that Khadr is a candidate for rehabilitation rather than prosecution, the Washington Post reports.
But U.S. government officials are forging ahead with plans to try Khadr this July in a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. Khadr, a Canadian citizen, is one of six detainees facing military commission trial rather than trial in federal court. Khadr's case is likely to be the first full military commission trial since Obama took office.
Khadr is accused of the 2002 killing of Delta Force 1st Sgt. Christopher Speer, a father of two, and of partially blinding Sgt. Layne Morris.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that it would not compel the Canadian government to seek his repatriation, the Post noted.
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