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Khadr Trial Suspended for at Least 30 Days

Things are not going well in our Kangaroo Court. After quickly determining a fake sentence for Osama bin Laden’s cook, Ibrahim al Qosi, matters turned to trying Omar Khadr for an alleged murder that normally wouldn’t be a crime that he allegedly committed as a teenager using evidence gotten through rape threats.

So they picked a jury (but not, thanks to a disqualification from the prosecution team, the guy who agreed with Barack Obama that Gitmo should be closed) and proceeded to the witnesses. Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson was in the middle of highlighting the many inconsistencies of prosecution witness testimony when he collapsed in the court room. Daphne Eviatar was in the court room when it happened:

On Thursday afternoon I watched Omar Khadr’s sole defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapse in the Guantanamo Bay courtroom in the middle of conducting a cross-examination of a key government witness. He was taken away on a stretcher by ambulance, hooked up to an I.V. Fortunately he was breathing normally and I hope will be fine, though as an observer in the courtroom I was stunned. It all happened so suddenly and he seemed to be in perfect health and in complete control of his questioning. It seems unlikely at this point that this historic trial will resume on Friday, as scheduled.

It turns out the collapse was related to complications from gall bladder surgery Jackson had about six weeks ago. He just got medivacked to the US for treatment and Khadr’s trial has been suspended for at least 30 days. So the showcase war crime trial for allegations that most don’t consider to be a war crime will have to wait (and they may have to start all over again with jury selection).

And Omar Khadr, who has been held for a third of his life, has another month gone from his life.

Update: Here’s Carol Rosenberg’s report on all this.

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Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel is an American journalist whose reporting specializes in security and civil liberties.