SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A Canadian detainee at Guatanamo lost his bid to challenge a pretrial decision about his “enemy combatant” status after the 9th Circuit ruled that federal law barred it from reviewing his case until the final judgment.
Omar Ahmed Khadr was taken into military custody in 2002 in Afghanistan, and transported to the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. A military tribunal determined that he was an al Qaida member or affiliate and deemed him an “enemy combatant.” He was charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism and spying.
He allegedly planted roadside bombs and killed a U.S. sergeant by throwing a hand grenade at U.S. forces. The military said he also tracked the travel patterns of U.S. troops and reported them to al Qaida.
In June 2007, a military judge dismissed all charges against him, finding that Khadr had been improperly classified as an “enemy combatant,” and not an “unlawful” enemy combatant.
The government appealed the dismissal order to the Court of Military Commission Review, which reversed and remanded part of the ruling. The military review court determined that the Military Commissions Act gave the judge authority to decide Khadr’s unlawful enemy combatant status.
The appeals court refused to entertain his appeal on the basis that the military judge’s order was not a “final judgment” under federal law. Khadr claimed his case required special treatment, because the public was interested in the legality and legitimacy of military commissions.
“There is no public interest at stake in this case that distinguishes it from the multitude of criminal cases for which post-judgment review of procedural and jurisdictional decisions has been found effective,” Judge Sentelle wrote.