Khadr sentencing hearing adjourns for day
Omar Khadr's sentencing hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, adjourned unexpectedly Friday morning as jury members were dismissed shortly before 10 a.m. ET.
There had been speculation that Khadr would be sentenced on Friday.
On Monday, Khadr pleaded guilty to murdering a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan in 2002 and four other crimes, including attempted murder, conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists and spying.
Instead, Friday's hearing lasted less than an hour.
Defence lawyers used the time to enter into evidence an unsworn statement by Khadr in which he admits he initially lied to U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan after his capture in 2002. According to the statement, Khadr, then 15, stopped lying after U.S. soldiers told him a story about an Afghan boy who, because he lied, was sent to an American prison and raped there by fellow inmates.
"This story scared me very much and it made me cry," Khadr, now 24, said in the statement.
The CBC's Laurie Graham called the statement "unusual." She suggested it was the only way for the defence to present a glimpse into the mind of a much younger Khadr. Khadr was 15 when he threw the grenade that exploded near Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer on July 27, 2002, killing him.
The hearing is now scheduled to resume on Saturday morning. Lawyers on both sides of the case are expected to present their closing arguments. After that, the seven-member jury panel will be sent to deliberate Khadr's sentence.
Khadr's guilty pleas are part of an agreement reached by him, his lawyers and prosecutors. In exchange, his lawyers have said he will receive an eight-year sentence. After serving a maximum of one year at Guantanamo Bay, he will be eligible to apply for a transfer to a Canadian prison. He has been held at Guantanamo since 2002.