The Harper government is rushing to prevent Omar Khadr's release from jail. The National Post reports:
Federal lawyers have signalled to Khadr’s defence team that they will seek a rushed hearing with the Alberta Court of Appeal on Tuesday morning, just hours ahead of an afternoon hearing that was scheduled to set conditions on Khadr’s release on bail.
“The federal government is defying legal tradition” by heading directly to the appeal court and proceeding without providing the generally accepted practice of 10 days’ notice, Khadr’s lawyer, Dennis Edney, told the Edmonton Journal.
The anticipated federal action is aimed at keeping Khadr, 28, in prison until appeal courts have heard the federal challenge of the Alberta decision granting him bail while his convictions are appealed in U.S. courts.
Steve Sullivan wrote last week that the Harperites do not want to set Khadr free under any circumstances:
Never mind that he was a 15-year-old child soldier when he was accused of throwing a grenade in Afghanistan that killed an American soldier. Never mind that he may have confessed under duress, that he may have been tortured in Guantanamo. The prime minister has no use for nuance, or context. Politically, he needs an unrepentant terrorist — and Khadr only fits the bill as long as he remains locked up and out of reach.
Evidence that Khadr is a threat to public has never seen the light of day:
The Department of Justice lawyers arguing the Crown’s case presented no evidence to show Khadr offered a risk to the public. It’s one thing to spray the Commons floor with invective about a criminal case; it’s another thing entirely to prove that case in a court of law.
Khadr fits Harper's narrative that jihadists are at the gate. Therefore, he is politically useful. But it's more than that. For the prime minister, this is personal:
But Harper’s obsession with Khadr seems to go beyond politics into the realm of personal vendetta — and it’s costing the rest of us a lot of money. Think of it as an extension of the Harper government’s use of public money for partisan advertising; just as the PM sees nothing morally wrong with using taxpayers’ funds to sell himself to the voting public, he has no problem at all with using the courts to deliver his public safety PR line.
Mr. Harper has never done well in a court of law. The law isn't his strong suite.