SCC won't hear extradition case of Abdullah Khadr
(Colin Perkel/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:37PM EDT
Canada's top court has said it will not hear the extradition case of Abdullah Khadr, foiling Washington's attempts to put him on trial for terrorism-related charges.
The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed the federal government's leave-to-appeal application for Khadr, who is the older brother of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. The Thursday decision blocks the Ottawa-born man from being extradited to the United States.
Khadr has been accused of supplying weapons to al Qaeda in Pakistan.
The rejected appeal was filed by the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the U.S., which wants to prosecute Khadr in a terrorism case.
Both parties are trying to reverse earlier rulings by lower courts which prevent the 30-year-old man from being handed over to American authorities.
In May, Ontario's appeal court upheld a decision to not proceed with efforts to extradite Khadr. The ruling came much to the chagrin of Ottawa which has argued it's wrong to block an "admitted" terrorist from being put on trial.
Ontario's Superior Court had earlier said there are sufficient grounds to extradite Khadr. But the court ultimately quashed the transfer, citing gross misconduct in the U.S.'s treatment of Khadr.
As per custom, Canada's Supreme Court didn't provide a reason when it dismissed the leave-to-appeal application on Thursday.
Ottawa had tried to argue that Canada's ability to fulfill international obligations could be thwarted if extradition decision stood.
"This case raises issues of national importance that require consideration by this court," reads a portion of the government's leave-to-appeal request, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press.
Khadr's lawyer has dismissed the appeal as a waste of public resources that is "entirely devoid of merit."
The legal tug of war over Khadr is just one chapter of his family's ongoing journey with the Canadian justice system.
Authorities have long kept an eye on the family over its close ties to al Qaeda.
Khadr's father was an associate of Osama Bin Laden, the militant group's former leader who was killed in a U.S. raid last May.
His youngest brother Omar pleaded guilty to war-crimes charges, after a long legal battle in which he was accused of fatally wounding a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan with a grenade.
The younger Khadr is being held in Guantanamo Bay. He was eligible to return to Canada by Nov. 1 to continue his sentence but, so far, remains at the detention camp.
With files from The Canadian Press