A U.S. military appeal court on Monday overruled a military judge who threw out terrorism charges againstthe onlyCanadian being held at the American naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The U.S. Court of Military Commission Review ruled that a military court set up by the George W. Bush administration was the proper venue to decide whether Omar Khadr is an "unlawful enemy combatant" and can be tried on charges of terrorism and murder.
Monday's ruling reverses a June 4 decision by a U.S. military judge that dismissed all charges against Khadr for technical reasons.
Under the Military Commissions Act, which was revised and passed by the U.S. Congress in October 2006, military commissions only have jurisdiction to try "unlawful enemy combatants."
Khadr, whose family lives in Toronto,had been classified by a military panel in 2004 as only an "enemy combatant" — which is what led the judge to dismiss the charges.
Pentagon officials argued that the June 4 ruling was just a matter of semantics and was insufficient to dismiss the case.
Khadr was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 and imprisoned in Guantanamo. He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed American medic Sgt. First Class Christopher J. Speer.
Human rights groups argue that the Guantanamo military courts are illegal because they do not offer the same protections as U.S. courts.