Saturday, May 24, 2008

An unsurprising ruling affords cold comfort for Omar Khadr

OTTAWA — Long before the Supreme Court of Canada issued a judgment Friday ordering the Canadian government to hand over interrogation documents to Omar Khadr's defence lawyers, Ottawa saw the writing on the wall.

Earlier this year, a Foreign Affairs official was dispatched to Guantanamo Bay to show U.S. military defence and prosecution lawyers an example of the kind of documents that would be released if the Supreme Court decision didn't go the government's way.

The purpose of the meeting was to gauge whether the military lawyers saw any potentially classified information in the documents. (In the Guantanamo Bay military commission system – a system that just a few days ago released a heavily redacted version of a publicly available New York Times article – there isn't much information that can't potentially be deemed classified.)

Friday's Supreme Court decision came as no surprise, and likely does little to help Mr. Khadr's legal case in Guantanamo Bay; defence lawyers had already seen much of the information deemed releasable.

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