Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 2/8/2006 11:13:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:14:30 AM EDT by Wraithtouch]
Link
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government wants an Iraqi court to handle criminal charges against a naturalized American citizen who is being held in Iraq on suspicion that he is a senior operative of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The man's lawyers said he is innocent and likely to be tortured if he is handed over to the Iraqis.


The case is the first known instance in which the government has decided to allow an American to be tried in the new Iraqi legal system. At least four other U.S. citizens suspected of aiding the insurgency had been held in Iraq, the Pentagon has said.

Shawqi Omar, 44, who once served in the Minnesota National Guard, has been held since late 2004 in U.S.-run military prisons as an enemy combatant. He has not been charged with a crime or been given access to a lawyer, said Jonathan Hafetz, a lawyer representing Omar's family in the United States.

The government said Omar, who also holds Jordanian citizenship, was harboring an Iraqi insurgent and four Jordanian fighters at the time of his arrest and also had bomb-making materials. He is described in court papers as a relative of Zarqawi who was plotting to kidnap foreigners from Baghdad hotels.

Separately, Omar, Zarqawi and 11 others have been indicted by a Jordanian court on charges they plotted a chemical attack against Jordan's intelligence agency.

Omar's family said he is a businessman who was seeking reconstruction contracts in Iraq.

The family is asking a U.S. judge to step in and force the government to charge Omar with a crime and put him on trial in the United States, or release him. They also are seeking to prevent Omar's transfer to Iraqi custody, which they said would subject the Sunni Muslim to torture by Shiite-dominated authorities.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina last week issued an order in Washington temporarily blocking Omar's transfer to Iraqi custody. The order is set to expire on Monday, but the judge could extend it.

The Justice Department weighed in on Tuesday, arguing that Urbina has no business intervening on Omar's behalf and denying that Omar is even in U.S. custody.

Instead, the department said in court papers, Omar was captured by the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq and remains in its custody, the department said in court papers. The multinational force is independent of the U.S. government, the department said.

In any event, Omar would not be handed over to the Iraqis unless he is convicted in an Iraqi court, the government said.

Hafetz, a lawyer at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice, said the government is resorting to a legal gimmick to keep Omar's case out of American courts. "It's legally incorrect and factually incorrect to say the U.S. does not have control of him," Hafetz said.

In July, Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said five unnamed Americans, including one who also had Jordanian citizenship, were in U.S. military custody in Iraq. Whitman said then that the government had not decided whether their cases would be turned over to the Justice Department or to the new Iraqi legal system, which has handled the prosecution of other foreign fighters who came to Iraq to fight the U.S.-led occupation and Iraqi government.

In March, Matthew Waxman, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, said a panel of three U.S. officers determined the Jordanian-American was an enemy combatant and not entitled to prisoner-of-war status under the Geneva Convention. The description provided by Waxman and other officials matches Omar's biography as contained in the government's court papers.

In its filing Tuesday, the Justice Department said the officers were part of the multinational force.

Omar became a U.S. citizen in 1986, two years after he served in the National Guard. Omar spent about 11 months in the Guard before being discharged in November 1984 without completing his training, said Shannon Purvis, a spokesperson for the Minnesota National Guard. Omar received an "uncharacterized discharge," meaning he was discharged for such things as health problems or poor performance, Purvis said.

Non-citizens can serve in the Guard as long as they obtain citizenship within eight years of joining, Purvis said.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:18:40 AM EDT
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:19:11 AM EDT
Just shoot him now, it's easier and cheaper.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:20:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Phil_A_Steen:
Just shoot him now, it's easier and cheaper.


My feelings exactly
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:25:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:25:59 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]
I'm curious. Were there a lot of lawyers involved with POWs during WW-II or Korea or Vietnam? Or is this just a modern thing due to this "new kind of war"?
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:28:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:29:53 AM EDT by Max_Mike]

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why… The “peers” in this case are the Iraqis he is trying to murder.

He was fighting in Iraq, killing Iraqis, let him face their justice. Would you suggest we turn over an Iraqi caught in the US killing Americans over to the Iraqi Government for trial.

He can go to hell and take his SS card with him.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:32:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 11:33:44 AM EDT by krpind]
Hell if an Iraqi was caught committing a crime in Texas, we would try his ass here.

WTF is the difference?

He should be tried in Iraq. By Iraqi's.



EDIT.......What Max_Mike said.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:37:00 AM EDT
He'll get his wish, he's gonna join allah soon.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:37:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why… The “peers” in this case are the Iraqis he is trying to murder.

He was fighting in Iraq, killing Iraqis, let him face their justice. Would you suggest we turn over an Iraqi caught in the US killing Americans over to the Iraqi Government for trial.

He can go to hell and take his SS card with him.



+1

My only concern is that the Iraqis aren't still beheading people with scimitars
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:41:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why… The “peers” in this case are the Iraqis he is trying to murder.

He was fighting in Iraq, killing Iraqis, let him face their justice. Would you suggest we turn over an Iraqi caught in the US killing Americans over to the Iraqi Government for trial.

He can go to hell and take his SS card with him.



Got a point, I agree.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 11:44:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Max_Mike:

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why… The “peers” in this case are the Iraqis he is trying to murder.

He was fighting in Iraq, killing Iraqis, let him face their justice. Would you suggest we turn over an Iraqi caught in the US killing Americans over to the Iraqi Government for trial.

He can go to hell and take his SS card with him.

+1
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 12:12:17 PM EDT
Hmmm. A naturalized US citizen who holds dual citizenship in Jordan, found in Iraq harboring insurgents?

Let the Iraqis deal with him, he was caught in their country. Dont play if you cant pay.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 12:19:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wraithtouch:
The man's lawyers said he is innocent and likely to be tortured if he is handed over to the Iraqis.



Well that settles it then...hand him over!
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 12:30:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why should he be any different from any other American that is arrested in a foreign country on charges that stem from activities in that country.

No mixed feelings here.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 1:59:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wraithtouch:
The man's lawyers said he is innocent and likely to be tortured if he is handed over to the Iraqis.



reason enough to hand him over right now.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:02:06 PM EDT
"F*ck his misery."
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:02:57 PM EDT
Screw'em. Bullet in the head.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:09:29 PM EDT
Don't do the crime if you can't do the time ... let the bastard fry.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:36:21 PM EDT
If they do it right, let's extradite them all!
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:39:24 PM EDT
1. If he is a "businessman" as the family states, just exactly what "business contracts" was he trying to get? Bombs-r-us? No mention in the article. Hmmm.

2. He is harboring 5 terrorists in the building....Hmmmm.

3. He has bomb making material in the building....Hmmm.

I seen enough evidence to hand him over for trial in the country he committed the acts in. Case closed.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:46:00 PM EDT
I think we should take care of our own,no reason to let them do it when we could fry him just as easy,but on the other hand they will most likely do it right away instead of feeding him for 25 years.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:47:05 PM EDT
I don't care where he is from. If he is one of them, he is not one of us.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 2:59:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Um, he broke Iraqi laws, not our laws. We don't fly a bunch of Somalis in ever time one of them robs a convenience store.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:37:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Weiseguy:

Originally Posted By ShadowOne:
Mixed feelings on this one. The penalty for treason is [rightfully] death, but at the same time does he not deserve to be tried by his peers since he's a U.S. citizen?



Why should he be any different from any other American that is arrested in a foreign country on charges that stem from activities in that country.

No mixed feelings here.



I was thinking slippery slope issues at first. Why can't any American just be randomly snatched up and charged with any BS in another country? Does the home country just always say, "you're on your own?" But in this case, weighing the circumstances, there is no reason to intervene on the tango's behalf.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:46:54 PM EDT
He forfeited his citizenship by being a dickhead. Fuck him.
Top Top