Khadr judge fired, says his military lawyer
The U.S. military judge presiding over the trial of Canadian terrorism suspect Omar Khadr has been fired, said Khadr's lawyer.
In a news release issued Thursday, Lt.-Cmdr. William C. Kuebler said the judge, Col. Peter Brownback, was replaced after threatening to suspend proceedings in the case earlier this month.
Brownback told prosecutors they had to provide Khadr's defence lawyers with records of his confinement at the detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or he would suspend the proceedings.
Kuebler, Khadr's U.S. military-appointed lawyer, said he learned Brownback had been fired in an email from the chief judge of the U.S. military commissions, Col. Ralph Kohlmann. Kuebler's news release also included an email sent Wednesday by lead prosecutor Maj. Jeff Groharing, which complained of numerous delays in trial proceedings.
Kuebler told CBCNews.ca he believes the prosecution hopes the change will "speed things up."
Brownback will be replaced by Col. Patrick Parrish, said Kuebler, who said he won't have a chance to talk to Khadr until later in June.
Khadr was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 at age 15 and was taken to Guantanamo four months later.
The Toronto-born man is accused of lobbing a grenade that killed U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer during a firefight at an al-Qaeda compound in eastern Afghanistan. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on charges including murder, conspiracy and supporting terrorism.