Canada is infringing the rights of Omar Khadr, a young Canadian imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, but is not obliged to ask the United States to repatriate him, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday.
The judgment is a victory for the minority Conservative government, which had contested lower court rulings that ordered Ottawa to help Khadr because his rights under Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms had been breached.
Khadr is accused of killing a U.S. medic in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002 when he was aged 15. He is the only citizen of a western nation still imprisoned at Guantanamo.
"We conclude that the order made by the lower courts that the government request Mr Khadr's return to Canada is not an appropriate remedy for that breach," the Supreme Court said in the unanimous 9-0 ruling.
The court said Ottawa was better placed to make decisions under the power granted it by the Canadian constitution and suggested that Canada-U.S. relations could be damaged by a request for Khadr's return.
The Conservative government has shrugged off pressure to intervene on Khadr's behalf. arguing that he faces serious charges. Khadr is due to be tried by a special U.S. military commission later this year.
The judges said Canada breached Khadr's rights by sending intelligence agents to interrogate him in Guantanamo Bay in 2003 and 2004 and sharing the results with the United States. Khadr's continuing detention meant his rights were still being infringed, the judges ruled.
ReutersLast Mod: 30 Ocak 2010, 19:03