Charged with conspiracy to commit war crimes, murder, attempted murder and aiding the enemy by the Pentagon (USA); all charges dismissed by a US military judge on 4 June 2007 due to lack of jurisdiction; Pentagon appealed against the decision on 4 July 2007; terrorism charges reinstated on 24 September 2007 by the US Court of Military Commission Review; pretrial hearing on 4 February 2008
During a firefight on 27 July 2002, Khadr was captured by the US Army and imprisoned in Guantanamo. Khadr’s lawyers have asserted he has been abused in U.S. custody and that his capture and detention at age 15 violated American responsibilities under accords regarding treatment of young people during war.
On November 4, 2005, Khadr was charged with Conspiracy for joining an enterprise of persons who shared a common criminal purpose and conspired with Osama bin Laden and various other members of the al Qaeda organization to commit several war crimes like attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, murder by an unprivileged belligerent, destruction of property by an unprivileged belligerent, and terrorism.
Moreover Khadr is indicted for the murder of Sergeant First Class Christopher Speer and attempted murder of US military personnel by planting the improvised explosive devices in the ground where U.S. troops were expected to be travelling.
Finally, Khadr is accused of intentionally aiding the enemy, Al Qaeda, in the context of and associated with an armed conflict.
On 10 and 11 January 2006, pre-trial hearings took place, even though there is a pending Supreme Court case regarding the legality of the trials before the military commissions (cf. Salim Ahmed Hamdan in "related cases").
The United States will not seek the death penalty against Omar Ahmed Khadr or any other of the nine Guantanamo Bay prisoners who have been charged with war crimes up to now.
The charges were formally approved by the Pentagon on 24 April 2007 and his trial before a Guanatnamo military commission is set to begin in August 2007
The jurisdiction of the military commissions for foreign citizens in the war on terror is based on the President's determination of July 30, 2005 that Omar Khadr is subject to his Military Order of November 13, 2001.
A lawsuit brought by Khadr and Hamdan (see "related cases") to challenge the legality of their trials by a military commission was rejected by the US Supreme Court on 30 April 2007.
Under the new 2006 Military Commissions Act, coerced testimony is allowed and no one subject to such trials "may invoke Geneva Conventions as a source of rights."
In May 2007 Khadr fired his US military and civilian lawyers and asked to be represented by Canadian lawyers of his choice. However, the rules for the military commissions prevent foreign lawyers from being the lead attorneys in war crimes trials.
During a first arraignment before the Military Commission on 4 June 2007 a US military judge dismissed all charges against Khadr due to lack of jurisdiction to try Khadr.
The Judge ruled that Congress had created the military tribunals to try only so-called "unlawful'' enemy combatants. The military panel that ruled on Khadr's status designated him only as an "enemy combatant'' in 2004. Only if Mr. Khadr were an "unlawful'' combatant could his alleged acts be a war crime or murder.
Khadr will however not be released following this ruling. The Bush administration said he might be held as a prisoner until the end of hostilities in the so-called war on international terrorism.
On 29 June 2007 a US military judge declined to revive charges against Khadr.
On July 4 2007, Prosecutors filed an appeal in Khadr's case with the Court of Military Commission Review.
On 24 September 2007 the US Court of Military Commission Review overruled the decision by the military judge and reinstated terrorism charges against Khadr.
The appeals court held that the distinction between 'enemy combattant' and 'unlawful enemy combattant' was purely semantic and that the military tribunal system still had the authority to try Khadr.
The Court indicated that it had not been established whether Khadr was an illegal enemy combattant and that this was to be determined by the military judge himself.
For the purpose of determination of his status, Khadr appeared before the military judge on 8 November 2007.
A pretrial hearing began at Guantanamo Bay on 4 February 2008. Kadhr's military defence team has 15 different motions prepared. Some essentially assert that the military commission process itself is illegitimate because it was set up by Congress at the urging of the Bush White House in 2006, four years after the alleged crimes were committed.