US NAVAL BASE AT GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba — The Guantanamo trial of a Canadian captured by US forces in Afghanistan at age 15 has been postponed by 30 days so his lawyer can seek medical treatment in the United States, a US military official said Friday.
Omar Khadr's US military defense lawyer Jon Jackson collapsed Thursday at the end of court proceedings -- the first full prosecution at Guantanamo since President Barack Obama took office -- and was rushed to hospital on the US naval base.
The official said it was determined that Jackson has to be evacuated from the base to get medical treatment and will be on "convalescent leave" in the United States for 30 days.
On Thursday Jackson was rushed by ambulance to a medical facility on the base where he was placed on a morphine drip, according to Bryan Broyles, an official with the military defense lawyers' office.
Broyles said the incident was thought to be related to gall bladder surgery that Jackson underwent six weeks ago.
Now 23 and the last Westerner held at Guantanamo, Khadr is accused of throwing a hand grenade that killed a US soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan in 2002, when Khadr was 15.
On Thursday prosecutors sought to depict Khadr as a committed fighter.
"'I am a terrorist praying for Al-Qaeda': these are Omar Khadr's own words," chief prosecutor Jeff Groharing said, adding that Khadr's intention was "to kill as many Americans" as possible.
But Jackson had presented the jury with another equally vivid image, that of Khadr as a frightened boy, bleeding and under fire in a compound with three "bad men" who told him what to do.
"Omar Khadr was there because his father told him to go there. Omar Khadr was there because of his father who hated his enemies more than he loved his son," Jackson said.
Khadr grew up in Canada, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and he is the son of an Al-Qaeda official who was killed in 2003.
The youth was seriously wounded and captured after US special forces laid siege to an Al-Qaeda hideout where Khadr allegedly made improvised explosives.
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