USA — Detainee Pleads Guilty at Military Commission Hearing

The Depart­ment of Defense announced that Omar Khadr plead­ed guilty today in a mil­i­tary com­mis­sion. In accor­dance with a pre-tri­al agree­ment, Khadr admit­ted, in open court, to com­mit­ting mur­der in vio­la­tion of the law of war, attempt­ed mur­der in vio­la­tion of the law of war, pro­vid­ing mate­r­i­al sup­port to ter­ror­ism, con­spir­a­cy, and spy­ing. His sen­tence will be deter­mined at a hear­ing that begins Oct. 26.

Khadr admit­ted to throw­ing a grenade on July 27, 2002, that killed Sgt. 1st Class Christo­pher Speer after the con­clu­sion of a four-hour fire­fight between al Qae­da affil­i­at­ed forces and U.S. mil­i­tary forces, and that he threw the grenade with the intent of killing Amer­i­can or coali­tion forces. Khadr also admit­ted that in the months pri­or to his mur­der of Speer, he con­vert­ed land­mines to impro­vised explo­sive devices (IEDs) and assist­ed in the plant­i­ng of ten IEDs with the intent of killing Amer­i­can forces. 

In all cas­es tried by a mil­i­tary com­mis­sion, the mil­i­tary judge has the duty to ensure the guilty plea is both sup­port­ed by the facts and vol­un­tar­i­ly made before accept­ing the guilty plea. In this case, Mil­i­tary Judge Col. Patrick Par­rish, ques­tioned Khadr at length about his actions and his under­stand­ing of his plea. Par­rish then indi­cat­ed that he was sat­is­fied that Khadr under­stood his rights, the plea was vol­un­tary, and that Khadr did in fact com­mit the acts that con­sti­tute the offens­es as charged. This require­ment for ques­tion­ing the under­ly­ing facts and vol­un­tari­ness of the plea safe­guards the rights of the accused and guar­an­tees the legit­i­ma­cy of the plea. Khadr was assist­ed by two appoint­ed mil­i­tary defense coun­sel, at no cost to him. 

In all mil­i­tary com­mis­sions, a pan­el of mil­i­tary offi­cers known as “mem­bers” deter­mines the sen­tence, regard­less of whether the plea was guilty or not guilty. At a hear­ing sched­uled to begin tomor­row, the defense and pros­e­cu­tion will each have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to present evi­dence and argu­ment to the mem­bers to aid them in deter­min­ing a sentence. 

Under the pre-tri­al agree­ment, Khadr agreed to waive his right to tri­al and plead guilty to the charged offens­es in exchange for a lim­i­ta­tion on his sen­tence. Par­rish ques­tioned Khadr and deter­mined that he entered into the agree­ment vol­un­tar­i­ly and believed it was in his best inter­ests. In order to pre­serve the integri­ty of the sen­tenc­ing delib­er­a­tions, the terms of the agree­ment are not dis­closed to the mem­bers until after the sen­tence is announced. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →