Who’s on first? (Khadr edition)

Lawrence Cannon, foreign affairs minister, yesterday in the House. “I would tell my honourable colleague that my associates in the department have been in regular contact with both Mr. Khadr’s defence representatives and the prosecutors in this case. We are continuing to hold these discussions and to make ourselves available.”

Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler, Omar Khadr’s counsel, in today’s StarForeign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon will not even return phone calls from lawyers for Canadian Omar Khadr, the last western prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, the attorneys say. U.S. Lt.-Cmdr. Bill Kuebler says attempts over the past year and a half to speak to senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office or ministers in the departments of justice or public safety have met the same “closed doors.” “It’s been made very clear to us that very senior levels of government outside of the existing conduit we have (through foreign affairs consular officials) don’t want to talk to us,” said Kuebler, Khadr’s Pentagon-appointed lawyer.

Kuebler (New York Times profile here) also addressed the Prime Minister’s assertion that Omar Khadr does not qualify as a child soldier.

“All you can say is that he was very poorly briefed … There’s no basis in reality at all for the Prime Minister’s position.”