August 10, 2008 |
Osama bin Laden's driver, who received only a 5 1/2 -year sentence, is not so different from the majority of the 265 prisoners at Guantanamo Bay: a low-level player without a proven record of terrorism. Only a small group of recent arrivals from CIA custody -- including five alleged Sept. 11 plotters -- seem to fit the profile of hard-core militants who threaten America's existence, men so dangerous that a special tribunal was needed to try them. The U.S. military officers who served as jurors in the first trial clearly weren't convinced that Bin Laden's chauffeur was as dangerous as the prosecution contended, acquitting Salim Ahmed Hamdan of charges that he conspired with Al Qaeda and convicting him mainly of driving a car. His startlingly light sentence Thursday makes him eligible for release by January.
August 7, 2008
The split verdict in the trial of Osama bin Laden's former driver redeems somewhat the military commission system created to deal with alleged enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay. But the trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan fell short of the highest traditions of American justice, and even if he files a successful appeal, he would not be set free. Hamdan, a Yemeni captured by Afghan warlords in 2001 and turned over to U.S.
August 5, 2008 |
The war crimes case against Salim Ahmed Hamdan went to the military jury Monday, with defense lawyers urging acquittal to restore the world's faith in U.S. respect for the rule of law and a prosecutor accusing the defendant of having protected Al Qaeda leaders so they could "kill another day." In closing arguments, a defense attorney, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, made a surprising disclosure, suggesting that Hamdan had offered to help U.S.
August 1, 2008 |
Two U.S. Army Special Forces officers who encountered terrorism suspect Salim Ahmed Hamdan after his November 2001 arrest in Afghanistan testified in secret at his trial Thursday because the events they discussed are classified. Special Forces psychologist Col. Morgan Banks and Lt. Col. Guy John Taylor, a military lawyer assigned to a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan at the time, testified for the defense for more than an hour each.
July 23, 2008 |
Prosecution and defense lawyers painted broadly conflicting pictures of Salim Ahmed Hamdan on Tuesday, with the government vowing to prove that the former driver for Osama bin Laden remained a trusted aide and confidant through Al Qaeda's most heinous crimes.
July 19, 2008 |
Defense lawyers for an alleged Al Qaeda plotter won permission to question witnesses, including the self-proclaimed Sept. 11 mastermind, after a military judge threatened to postpone the trial. The chief prosecutor of the war crimes tribunals said a lawyer for Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, would get access to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other "high-value" detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba. "We've come to the point where the government needs to move," Judge Keith Allred, a Navy captain, told prosecutors, who had warned that security concerns could hamper efforts to arrange for a lawyer to question Mohammed before the trial begins Monday.