Judge Tosses Charges Against Gitmo Detainee

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A military judge today threw out charges against a Guantanamo detainee who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan.

However, Army Col. Peter Brownback said the dismissal was without prejudice, which means the government could refile charges against the Canadian man, Associated Press reports.

Brownback said the government had failed to classify Omar Khadr as an “alien unlawful enemy combatant” as required by the new military commissions law.

Brownback said the law made a distinction between “lawful” and “unlawful” combatants, Reuters reports. Khadr was classified as an “enemy combatant” in a 2004 hearing, but not an “unlawful enemy combatant.”

Khadr is accused of committing murder and attempted murder in violation of the law of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying. The government claims Khadr killed a U.S. soldier with a grenade and wounded another.

Defense lawyers argue that prosecuting a child fighter violates international law, the New York Times reports.

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