The cocky murderer and war criminal, Omar Khadr, got off with a shockingly light sentence as it was. And the denial of clemency keeps him from going back to the rest of his family of jihad sympathizers and supporters — in Toronto — any sooner. “U.S. military tribunal rebuffs Khadr’s bid for clemency,” by Steven Edwards for PostMedia News, May 26 (thanks to Ima Freeman):
NEW YORK “” The U.S. military tribunal that oversaw Omar Khadr’s war crimes case has refused the Canadian’s bid for clemency with a statement Thursday that simply confirms the eight-year sentence he received in a plea deal.
The Toronto native had, through his military lawyer, sought to have the sentence reduced, arguing in part that the prosecution had been guilty of “misconduct” in its calling of a key prosecution witness.
The confirmation of the eight-year sentence “” in exchange for which Khadr admitted to five war crimes, including the murder of a U.S. serviceman “” was issued by retired Vice-Admiral Bruce MacDonald, who serves as the tribunal “convening authority,” or overseer.
By not addressing the defence allegations of prosecutorial misconduct “” which the prosecution had vigorously denied “” MacDonald effectively ruled for neither side.
“While we are disappointed that Omar did not receive clemency, we are confident that the convening authority carefully considered all the defence submissions prior to final action,” said army Lt.-Col. Jon Jackson, Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer for the military commission at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The plea deal called for Khadr to serve one more year in Guantanamo, then seven in a Canadian prison.
Jackson said applications had already been made before U.S. and Canadian authorities for Khadr’s transfer to Canada “on or before Nov. 1” “” the date marking a year following the end of his sentencing hearing.
“Omar continues to be focused on the future, his education and repatriation to Canada,” Jackson said.
The defence had claimed prosecutors had “strong-armed” them into dropping a bid to challenge the credibility of Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist appearing for the government. But insiders said the convening authority would have had difficulty ruling one way or the other since the issue appeared to be very much one of “he said, he said.”
MacDonald’s confirmation of the sentence means that Khadr, 15 when captured in a 2002 firefight in Afghanistan, has met all his obligations set out in the pre-trial agreement, Jackson said.
The wording of MacDonald’s statement implicitly refers to the symbolic 40-year sentence military officers serving as the jury handed down after hearing sentencing witnesses. But MacDonald’s confirmation of the plea agreement overrules the longer sentence….