Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Omar Khadr's long and twisted road to trial Add to ...

July 27, 2002: Omar Khadr is taken into U.S. custody after a firefight in a village near Khost, in eastern Afghanistan.

October, 2002: Mr. Khadr, now 16, is transferred to Guantanamo Bay. No charges laid yet, but U.S. officials allege he killed U.S. Sergeant 1st Class Christopher Speer.

November, 2005: U.S. government formally charges Mr. Khadr, now 19, with conspiracy, murder, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.

January, 2006: Mr. Khadr makes his first court appearance, wearing a Roots Athletics t-shirt.

June/July, 2006: U.S. Supreme Court declares Guantanamo military commissions process illegal, effectively dismissing ongoing charges - including Mr. Khadr's. The Bush administration mulls creating special terrorism courts.

February, 2007: New charges filed against Mr. Khadr, including murder, attempted murder and material support for terrorism.

June, 2007: Military judge dismisses all charges against Mr. Khadr in what would have been the beginning of the 20-year-old's trial, saying the prosecution failed to label him an "unlawful" enemy combatant.

September, 2007: U.S. military appeals court sides with government, reinstates all charges against Mr. Khadr.

November, 2007: Trial set to start when Mr. Khadr's defence team discloses a secret witness whose testimony, they argue, casts doubts on whether Mr. Khadr was an unlawful combatant.

February-December, 2008: Khadr case back in court and mired in multitudinous pretrial motions as defence feuds with government on access to information and the validity of the charges themselves. Trial date pushed back multiple times.

January, 2009: Newly inaugurated U.S. President Barack Obama requests 120-day adjournment of all Guantanamo war commissions proceedings as he announces the closing of Guantanamo Bay within a year.

November, 2009: Mr. Obama unveils revived, revamped process for war commissions, Mr. Khadr's included.

April/May 2010: Hearings continue into pretrial motions, this time regarding the admissibility of evidence Mr. Khadr's lawyers argue was obtained through torture.

July, 2010: Pretrial hearings pushed back when Mr. Khadr fires civilian U.S. lawyers.

August, 2010: Pretrial motions end. Jury selected. Opening arguments made.

Aug. 12: Mr. Khadr's trial is put on hold for a month after Lieutenant-Colonel Jon Jackson, his only defence lawyer, collapses in court from severe pain related to recent gallbladder surgery.

Aug. 20: Military judge Colonel Patrick Parrish rules that threats of gang rape did not prompt Mr. Khadr to make any self-incriminating statements and no evidence exists that the Canadian was tortured. In the written decision, Col. Parrish also rules that Mr. Khadr's various confessions to his interrogators are reliable and were made voluntarily.

Oct. 14: Mr. Khadr's lawyers say a plea deal is in the works that would see Mr. Khadr plead guilty to terrorism charges in exchange for a sentence, most of which would be served in Canada.

Oct. 25: Mr. Khadr pleads guilty to all terrorism and murder charges. His plea deal, which was endorsed by both Washington and Ottawa, allows him to apply to return to Canada after serving one more year in prison in Guantanamo. Any remaining sentence would be served in a Canadian jail.

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular