Khadr Juror Ousted for Believing Gitmo Should Be Closed

Prosecutors Feared Soldier Might 'Harm Their Case'

There is nothing so unusual with prosecutors and defense lawyers excluding jurors they believe might not be sympathetic with their cause, but in the military “trial” of Omar Khadr, the exclusion of one lieutenant commander has raised some eyebrows.

The soldier, whose name has not been revealed, was excluded by prosecutors because during the screening he said he agreed with President Obama’s post-election declaration that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay should close.

Whether this means all the jurors selected were in favor of the notion of military tribunals for detainees is unclear, but a number of them were said to have lost close friends during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This will likely put Khadr, who is accused of killing a soldier, at a considerable disadvantage.

Khadr’s trial has been condemned internationally, with UN officials warning it sets a dangeorus precedent for the treatment of child soldiers. Khadr was 15 at the time of his detention, and the case against him is built almost exclusively around confessions he gave after being abused by interrogators.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.