Friday, September 4, 2009

Government's Khadr appeal to be heard by top court

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear the federal government's appeal of a ruling forcing Ottawa to press for the release of Canadian Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay.

As is customary, the court gave no reasons for its decision Friday morning.

Last month, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld a lower-court ruling that required Ottawa to try to repatriate 22-year-old Khadr, the only Western citizen still being held by the United States at its military base in Cuba.

Opposition parties decried the decision to appeal, saying it goes against the government's legal and moral obligations toward its own citizens. Khadr's lawyers called the government's decision "mean-spirited" and argued the top court should not hear the appeal.

Lawyers for the government have argued that only the prime minister and cabinet should have the authority to make decisions regarding foreign policy.

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