Seven U.S. military officers will decide the fate of Toronto-born Omar Khadr as he faces trial at the American naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Toronto-born man, now 23, was captured as a teenager in 2002 after a fatal firefight with U.S. special forces in Afghanistan. He is accused of throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer.
Khadr is being tried on five charges, including murder in violation of the laws of war.
Seven jurors were seated Wednesday after eight other potential jurors were excused after prosecution and defence challenges. The identities of the jurors will be shielded.
"We are left with seven U.S military officers, three of them women, who will ultimately decide the fate of now 23-year-old Omar Khadr," CBC reporter David Common said.
One officer who said Guantanamo Bay had affected America's international image was seated on the jury.Another officer who said he believes some U.S. detainees had been tortured and that the Cuban facility should be closed was vetoed by the prosecution. Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, said Wednesday's proceedings suggested a "glimmer of hope and justice for Omar Khadr" because most of the concerns and objections raised by his legal team were granted.
Amnesty International has said Khadr's case should have been transferred out of Guantanamo Bay because he was 15 when he was arrested on the battlefield.
Former soldier to testify
The trial is expected to last several weeks. Some of the soldiers involved in the 2002 firefight are expected to testify, as are some of Khadr's interrogators.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Layne Morris, one of the Special Forces soldiers involved in the 2002 firefight, is set to testify against Khadr.
"I don't have any personal anger towards Omar Khadr," Morris told CBC News. "I'm simply looking for justice."
Morris dismissed talk that Khadr should be shown leniency because he was only 15 at the time of the incident.
'I've been looking forward to this for eight years.' — Sgt. 1st Class Layne Morris
"I think age is always going to be a factor whether we try someone as a juvenile or as an adult," he said. "I think Omar Khadr should be tried as an adult."
Khadr's case was dealt a serious blow Monday when Col. Patrick Parrish, the presiding judge, ruled the confessions Khadr made to police after his capture can be entered as evidence. The confessions include an admission he threw the grenade that killed the U.S. sergeant.
Parrish said he will also allow into evidence video purportedly showing the Canadian making and planting bombs in Afghanistan.
At least five of the jurors will have to agree Khadr is guilty to secure a conviction.