Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 15/8/2009 (4327 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
CBA president and Winnipeg lawyer Guy Joubert said Omar Khadr is the only remaining western citizen being held at Guantanamo Bay after the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium and Australia all used diplomatic pressure to successfully push for the return of their jailed nationals.
"We're the last one, and I can't help but think that it doesn't help our image as a free and democratic society when we allow something like this to happen," Joubert told Canwest News Service in an interview at the annual meeting of the body that represents Canada's legal community.
The Federal Court of Appeal on Friday upheld a lower court ruling ordering Ottawa to repatriate Khadr, but the government has so far not indicated whether it will seek to challenge that decision before the Supreme Court of Canada.
Joubert said Khadr, who was captured in Afghanistan by American forces at age 15 in 2002 and charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and aiding the enemy, has the right to face the criminal justice system in Canada.
"It's quite simple: He's a Canadian citizen that has been incarcerated in another country, who has been denied basic procedural rights that any other Canadian would enjoy in this country," Joubert said.
Khadr should be brought "back home to face justice here, to let our courts deal with his case."
Harper noted Friday that the decision wasn't unanimous, with one of the three Appeal Court justices not supporting Federal Court Justice James O'Reilly's April decision.
O'Reilly ruled then that Canadian officials violated Khadr's charter rights, as well as breaking various international laws, when they interrogated him at Guantanamo in 2003 and 2004. They then passed that information to American authorities.
O'Reilly said the actions of the officials, who knew Khadr was being subjected to torture techniques such as sleep deprivation, deprived him of "fundamental justice."
-- Canwest News Service