At Guantánamo Bay, Omar Khadr war crimes tribunal delayed

Omar Khadr, a Canadian accused of murdering a US special forces soldier in Afghanistan, will have his tribunal at Guantánamo Bay delayed a month because of a health problem that befell his lawyer.

Janet Hamlin/AP
In this photo of a courtroom sketch, Canadian detainee Omar Khadr, left, attends his war crimes tribunal in the courthouse for the US military war crimes commission at the Camp Justice compound on Guantánamo Bay, Cuba Thursday. Khadr is accused accused of murdering a US special forces soldier in Afghanistan.

The Guantánamo war crimes tribunal of a Canadian national accused of murdering a US special forces soldier in Afghanistan has been postponed for a least a month after his defense lawyer became ill during the first day of the trial.

Army Lt. Col. Jon Jackson fainted and fell to the floor while attempting to question a witness on Thursday, according to reports by the Associated Press, Reuters, and other news organizations.

The lawyer was rushed from the courtroom to a medical facility on the US naval base in southeastern Cuba, where personnel determined that he should be flown to the US for treatment for suspected complications from recent gall bladder surgery.

Jackson is the only lawyer authorized to represent Omar Khadr, who is accused of murder, conspiracy with Al Qaeda, providing material support to Al Qaeda, and conducting surveillance for Al Qaeda. Mr. Khadr was represented by two American civilian lawyers, but he fired them both during pretrial hearings.

The Khadr case is the first contested war crimes tribunal of the Obama administration.

Officials expect the trial to resume in about 30 days with the same military jury comprised of seven officers – three women and four men. The trial itself is estimated to take about a month.

IN PICTURES: Life at Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp

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