Abdullah Khadr's lawyers claim he was abused
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2007 6:28PM EDT
TORONTO - Abdullah Khadr received no legal advice during the 14 months he was held in a Pakistani jail despite repeated meetings with the RCMP, CSIS and the FBI, court heard Wednesday as the Canadian citizen continued his fight against extradition to the U.S. on terrorism charges.
Arrested in Islamabad in October 2004 and held without charge until his release to Canada, Khadr made statements during his detention indicating that he was part of an apparent al Qaeda plot to assassinate the prime minister of Pakistan.
Lawyer Dennis Edney, who has said the statement was the product of torture and should be discounted, said Wednesday that Canadian and American officials did little to help Khadr.
"Neither counsel nor his family were ever informed of his whereabouts or his condition throughout his lengthy detention in Pakistan,'' Edney told the court.
"In fact, it was only after Khadr, on returning to Canada ... is dropped outside his home, and that is the first thing his family had heard from him in 14 months.''
Edney said that while Khadr's mother immediately hired him after her son was detained, the now 26-year old wasn't informed he had a lawyer until five months later -- long after he had met with CSIS officials.
Shortly after that, Khadr met with RCMP Sgt. Konrad Shourie and was again denied access to basic rights, said Edney.
"He wasn't provided with access to a lawyer, told about his right to remain silent, or given contact to his family,'' he told the court.
Shourie asked Khadr many of the same questions that he had already been asked by other agencies, including Pakistani intelligence, Edney added.
Khadr was subsequently interviewed by FBI officials who also asked him the same questions and again denied him the same basic rights, said Edney. A Pakistani official who had been involved in his torture was present at all times, he added.
"By this point he'd been asked the same questions so many times that he knew most of what he had to say in order to appear consistent,'' said Edney, who argued that Khadr's initial responses, which he now felt compelled to repeat, were coerced under torture.
In addition to speaking about a plot to assassinate the prime minister of Pakistan, Khadr also said he made about $7,000 in Pakistan buying and selling light machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and a shoulder-fired rocket launcher.
Edney said that Khadr was questioned for 12 hours a day for three days straight by the FBI officials, and that he was "shackled, cuffed, sleep-deprived and hungry.''
The same line of questioning continued to be used by both the RCMP and the FBI when Khadr returned to Canada, said Edney.
Edney concluded that any rights afforded to Khadr were "a sham.''
"Officials of the U.S.A. and Canada attended Pakistan and interrogated Mr. Khadr, while the systemic use of torture and illegal detention was both open and notorious in that country,'' he said.
"These officials must have known that Mr. Khadr's ongoing detention was hopelessly illegal.''
Khadr faces charges of buying weapons for al Qaeda and plotting to kill American troops in Afghanistan if he's extradited to the U.S. He is the son of Ahmed Said Khadr, an alleged Canadian al Qaeda financier who was killed by Pakistani forces in 2003.
He is also the brother of Omar Khadr, 20, who has been held for almost five years at the American detention centre at Guantanamo Bay for allegedly killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.
The case was scheduled to continue Thursday.