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Jury picked for Khadr trial at Gitmo

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Selection of a military jury to hear the war-crime charges against Canadian Omar Khadr was completed Wednesday at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The Globe and Mail reported the panel of U.S. military officers consists of four men and three women.

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Opening statements in the trial are expected to begin Thursday, the Toronto newspaper said.

Khadr, 23, faces five counts alleging he killed a U.S. soldier and partially blinded another in Afghanistan when he was 15. Only five jurors need to agree for him to be convicted, with at least six needed to agree on a sentence of more than 10 years, the newspaper said.

The jurors were picked from a pool of 15 people. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on dismissing one potential juror, while the judge granted five defense requests and each side employed one free rejection.

Khadr, dressed in a suit, smiled as he scanned the courtroom Wednesday, the first day of the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. The Globe and Mail said he appeared to listen carefully to potential jurors' answers to questions put to them by the attorneys for both sides.

Khadr is the youngest prisoner held at Guantanamo, where he has been held since October 2002 after being captured in Afghanistan following a firefight in which he allegedly threw a grenade that killed Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer and wounded Staff Sgt. Layne Morris.

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Khadr was born in Canada and raised in a family with ties to terror leader Osama bin Laden.

He is charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, spying and material support for terrorism. If convicted, he could face a life sentence. Khadr's attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to postpone the trial until there is a ruling on whether their client is being denied due process and should be tried in Canada.

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