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Updated: Fri, 08 Nov 2013 09:50:12 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

Omar Khadr's lawyers to file appeal of war crimes convictions



Omar Khadr's lawyers say he pleaded guilty to war crimes to get out of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre where he was held for 10 years. They will be appealing his convictions, arguing that the U.S. Military commission that heard the case had no legal authority to accept his guilty pleas. Amanda McRoberts/Canadian Press

Omar Khadr's lawyers say he pleaded guilty to war crimes to get out of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre where he was held for 10 years. They will be appealing his convictions, arguing that the U.S. Military commission that heard the case had no legal authority to accept his guilty pleas. Amanda McRoberts/Canadian Press

Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr will be appealing his five war crimes convictions.

Lawyers for the 27-year-old Canadian will argue the U.S. military commission that heard his case had no legal authority to try him or accept his guilty pleas related to the death of a U.S. soldier during a battle at an Afghan compound in 2002.

They will also argue that what he's accused of doing as a 15-year-old in Afghanistan was not a war crime under U.S. or international law.

The appeal is to be filed in the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review in Washington, D.C.

Toronto-born Khadr was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to war crime offences, including murder, providing material support for terrorism and spying. He was returned to Canada in September 2012 to serve out his sentence and is currently in prison in Edmonton.

Khadr's lawyers argue that the soldier's death occurred during the heat of battle and that Khadr's actions do not qualify as war crimes under international law.

But the military says Khadr was not in uniform and was therefore what's called an unprivileged combatant.

His lawyers say Khadr pleaded guilty to get out of Guantanamo.

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