Breaking News! U.S. convicts bin Laden's driver at Guantanamo

Discussion in 'Global Affairs' started by AbuUsama, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. AbuUsama

    AbuUsama New Member

    U.S. convicts bin Laden's driver at Guantanamo

    By Jane Sutton

    - A jury of U.S. military officers on Wednesday convicted Osama bin Laden's driver on charges of providing material support for terrorism in the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War Two.

    But the panel at the remote U.S. naval base at Guantanamo in Cuba acquitted Yemeni captive Salim Hamdan on additional charges of conspiring with al Qaeda to commit war crimes.

    The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for Wednesday afternoon for Hamdan, who faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

    The jurors deliberated a little over eight hours before reaching their verdict.

    Hamdan, wearing a white turban and long white robe topped with a tan blazer, stood tensely in the courtroom beside his lawyers as the verdict was announced, listening through headphones to the English-Arabic interpreter.

    The trial is the first full test of the controversial Guantanamo tribunal authorized by the Bush administration to try non-U.S. captives on terrorism charges outside the regular civilian and military courts.

    (Editing by Sandra Maler)
  2. AbuUsama

    AbuUsama New Member

    Bin Laden ex-driver found guilty

    A US military jury at Guantanamo Bay has convicted Osama Bin Laden's former driver of supporting terrorism.

    The verdict on Salim Hamdan is the first to be delivered in a full war crimes trial at the US prison in Cuba. Sentencing begins later on Wednesday.

    The jury found Hamdan guilty of five of eight charges of supporting terrorism but acquitted him of two separate, more serious, charges of conspiracy.

    The White House said the trial was fair and looked forward to more tribunals.

    'Vital role'

    Hamdan, a Yemeni, was initially impassive when the verdict began to be read out, but the BBC's Kim Ghattas, at the trial, said he later appeared to break down in tears.

    Hamdan, who is about 40 and was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, faces a maximum life sentence when the sentencing hearing gets under way later on Wednesday.

    Our correspondent says the case could still go as far as the Supreme Court, if there is an appeal.

    The jury of six military officers had deliberated for about eight hours over three days in the first US war crimes trial since World War II.

    The prosecution had said Hamdan played a "vital role" in the conspiracy behind the 9/11 attacks. But defence lawyers said he was a low-level employee.

    The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says US President George W Bush will hope to use the conclusion of the first full trial as evidence that the Guantanamo Bay system does actually work.

    In its first response, the White House said Hamdan had received a "fair trial".

    Spokesman Tony Fratto said: "The Military Commission system is a fair and appropriate legal process... We look forward to other cases moving forward to trial."

    However, defence lawyers had said they feared a guilty verdict was inevitable and that the system was geared to convict.

    'Guilt by association'

    Hamdan had admitted working for Bin Laden in Afghanistan from 1997 to 2001 for $200 (£99) a month, but said he worked for wages, not to make war on the US.

    The defence said the case was "guilt by association".

    But the prosecution said Hamdan was an "uncontrollably enthusiastic warrior" for al-Qaeda.

    About 270 suspects remain in detention in Guantanamo Bay.

    Among the dozens of other inmates due to be tried there in the coming months are men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks.
  3. AbuUsama

    AbuUsama New Member


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