Judge Reinstates Gitmo Lawyer Fired By U.S.
Posted Apr 9, 2009 7:15 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough
In a one-page ruling this week, a military judge thwarted attempts by the Pentagon to fire the lead attorney for Omar Khadr, the last western prisoner held prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.
Army Col. Patrick Parrish ruled Tuesday that the chief defense counsel for the Guantanamo war crimes trials lacked authority to dismiss Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, the Associated Press reports.
Parrish ruled that only a judge can removed a lawyer from the tribunals.
The AP reports that the chief defense counsel, Air Force Col. Peter Masciola, said he removed Kuebler because Khadr's tribunal team was "dysfunctional." He's asked the judge to reconsider.
Kuebler told the AP, however, that his firing was related to strategy disagreements. The dispute, he said, is undermining defense efforts.
Kuebler is arguing that the Toronto-born Khadr should be returned to Canada and if tried, prosecuted under Canadian law. Khadr is accused of killing U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer of Albuquerque, N.M., in a 2002 battle in Afghanistan.