Saturday July 24, 2010

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday July 24, 2010

Conrad Black & Omar Khadr

Former media mogul Conrad Black is being sued for $71 million in back taxes by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, which alleges he failed to report $120 million in U.S. income during the period 1998 to2003.

The IRS claims in U.S. federal tax court that Black filed no tax returns and paid no tax on $120 million (all figures U.S.) in taxable income between 1998 and 2003, according to media reports.

According to Forbes business magazine, Black – currently serving a 6 1/2-year sentence in a Florida prison – is challenging the claim, arguing in court filings he was not subject to U.S. taxing authority. (Toronto Star)

Meanwhile, In a calm, measured voice, Omar Khadr made clear his feelings about the judicial machinery that has kept him captive at Guantanamo Bay for the better part of eight years, even smiling on occasion as he addressed the judge, Col. Patrick Parrish, and his Canadian lawyer, Dennis Edney.”I will not willingly let the U.S. government use me to fulfil their goal, ” the bearded Khadr, 23, said Monday as he explained why he rejected the deal recently offered by military prosecutors.

Pleading guilty at his trial next month would “give an excuse to the government for torturing me and abusing me as a child, ” he said.

For much of Monday’s hearing there were protracted exchanges between Khadr and Parrish about whether the Canadian detainee wanted to represent himself at his trial or boycott the entire proceeding.

Parrish quizzed Khadr about his mental health.

“This place is not a five-star hotel, ” he replied, “so I’m sure it’s going to have an effect on me. I don’t know.”

Khadr is charged with war crimes that include killing an American soldier in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was just 15. Human rights organizations and other advocates have argued Khadr was a child soldier and should have been rehabilitated by the U.S., not imprisoned.

Khadr is the only remaining westerner among Guantanamo’s 181 prisoners and the youngest. (Toronto Star)

Canada, USA, prison, jail, Conrad Black, Omar Khadr, bail, race