Supreme Court ruling a partial win for Omar Khadr
Omar Khadr won a limited victory in the Supreme Court of Canada Friday, but his lawyer had hoped for more.
In a 9-0 ruling, the SCC said that Khadr has a constitutional right to material related to interviews conducted by Canadian officials in 2003 at Guantanamo Bay.
But the ruling allows the government to object to releasing some documents for national security reasons. The SCC ruling also said that Khadr does not have the right to access some of the documents that Ottawa holds regarding the case.
Khadr's Canadian lawyer, Nathan Whitling, told Canada AM that the ruling contained both "good and bad news."
Whitling said that he won't get many of the documents he wanted.
A Federal Court judge will review the materials and decide which ones to disclose.
The SCC decision was based on a "U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2004 that said that the Guantanamo Bay process violates international law," CTV's Rosemary Thompson told Canada AM Friday.
The ruling could have far-flung implications as legal experts say it could decide whether, diplomats, intelligence officials and military officials are bound to uphold the Charter of Rights in overseas dealings.
"The process in place at Guantanamo Bay at the time Canadian officials interviewed K(hadr) and passed on the fruits of the interviews to U.S. officials has been found by the U.S. Supreme Court ... to violate U.S. domestic law and international human rights obligations to which Canada subscribes,'' the ruling said.
Khadr, now 21, is the only remaining Western prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. The Canadian government, unlike other Western nations who had citizens detained there, has not pushed to have Khadr returned home.
Khadr was captured in 2002 following a firefight with U.S. Special Forces. He was taken to Afghanistan by his father, who had ties to al Qaeda and was killed in Pakistan in 2003. The Pentagon maintains Khadr threw a grenade during the fight, killing a U.S. soldier.
Foreign Affairs and CSIS officials questioned Khadr at Guantanamo in 2003, and shared their findings with the U.S.
With files from The Canadian Press