At a pretrial hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Omar Khadr’s military-appointed lawyer told a U.S. military court that an interrogator’s threat of gang rape and death should render Khadr’s confessions unreliable. Lt.-Col. Jon Jackson made the argument at Khadr’s military tribunal hearing, at which Khadr pleaded not guilty, in an attempt to have Khadr’s statements deemed inadmissible. A ruling on the evidence is expected later on Monday. Jackson cited the fact an interrogator—the former U.S. army sergeant Joshua Claus—admitted telling Khadr another young inmate in American custody at Bagram prison in Afghanistan had been raped by other inmates, possibly to death. “Once he said those words, the well is poisoned,” Jackson said. “The government can’t cleanse the well.” Claus was later convicted of detainee abuse. These are the final pretrial motions and the trial is expected to begin on Wednesday.
UPDATE: Military judge Patrick Parrish has denied the defence’s request to throw out the alleged confessions made by Khadr, which Khadr’s lawyers had argued were made under duress.