Interrogators had free hand to terrify detainees, Khadr hearing told – Khadr routinely trussed up in cage, hearing told
By Paul Koring
Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Station, Cuba
Omar Khadr, then a gravely wounded 15-year-old, was routinely trussed up in a cage “in one of the worst places on Earth,” according to a hulking former military interrogator nicknamed Monster who says he felt sorry for the Canadian and brought him books and treats.
Former specialist Damien Corsetti was testifying via video link to a pretrial hearing in the war-crimes trial of Mr. Khadr, now 23, on charges of terrorism and murder in the killing of a U.S. Special Forces soldier during a firefight in eastern Afghanistan in July of 2002.
“We could do basically anything to scare the prisoners,” Mr. Corsetti said, adding that detainees were often chained in stress positions in cages and that constant screaming and yelling filled the Bagram prison. He also said beating prisoners was banned but they could be threatened with nightmarish scenarios like clandestine transfer to Israel or Egypt where they would disappear.
Mr. Corsetti was the first defence witness called at the hearing.
“More than anything, he looked beat up,” Mr. Corsetti said. “He was a 15-year-old kid with three holes in his body, a bunch of shrapnel in his face.” Bagram guards and interrogators dubbed him Buckshot Bob. Mr. Corsetti said he sometimes took pity on the English-speaking teenager, occasionally chatting with him about fast cars.
He was never one of Mr. Khadr’s interrogators.
Mr. Corsetti later faced multiple charges of detainee abuse but was acquitted. He now describes himself as a disabled veteran being treated for post-traumatic-stress disorder.
Defence lawyers are seeking to have Mr. Khadr’s confessions at Bagram and Guantanamo kept out of the trial, claiming interrogators coerced them from a tortured and abused child soldier.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/393xrbj