The US Supreme Court on Friday declined to block the prosecution of Canadian Omar Khadr, the last Western detainee at Guantanamo Bay, whose war crimes trial is set to open August 10.
“The application for stay presented to the chief justice and by him referred to the court is denied,” the top US court said in a brief order that gave no details as to why the request was denied.
Khadr’s military attorney, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Jackson, had sought a high court order forcing a lower court to examine the constitutionality of the military tribunal set to try the 23-year-old Canadian.
Alternatively, Jackson argued, the high court could issue its own decision on the constitutionality of the tribunals at the controversial prison facility located at a US military base on land leased from Cuba.
US forces in Afghanistan took Khadr prisoner in July 2002, when he was just 15 years old. He was later charged with war crimes for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a US soldier.
Khadr, who has sacked his American defense lawyers and refused a plea deal, faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
Canada has declined to seek his release from Guantanamo, saying the judicial process at the facility should be seen through.