A military judge ruled Monday that statements made by Omar Khadr, who is charged of killing a US soldier in Afghanistan, can be used in the trial, which is set to start Tuesday. Mr. Khadr's lawyers say the statements were coerced.
A military judge on Monday ruled that self-incriminating statements made to US interrogators could be admitted as evidence in the war crimes trial of an Al Qaeda operative accused of murdering an American soldier in Afghanistan.
The ruling came in a special courtroom at the US Naval Base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where officials are preparing for the first contested military commission trial of the Obama presidency. It is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Mr. Khadr was 15 years old at the time. He denies throwing the grenade.
His lawyers object to the commission trial, saying that because of his young age at the time of his capture he should be treated as a child soldier who is not fully responsible for his actions.
They also argued that he faced brutal mistreatment and threats of rape by US interrogators and that any statements he made to military officials should not be used against him at trial.
Prosecutors countered that Khadr was not mistreated and that statements he made accepting responsibility for the grenade attack were not coerced.
On Monday, the military judge presiding over the case said Khadr’s statements could be used as evidence at the commission trial.
Earlier on Monday, in a pretrial hearing, prosecutors presented a video of Khadr surrounded by seven military guards who were trying to weigh him in compliance with requirements of the International Committee of the Red Cross. The prosecutors introduced the video in an attempt to show that Khadr had not been mistreated while in US custody.