Bin Laden driver’s conviction overturned by U.S. appeals court

Oct 16, 2012 - by - 0 Comments

A federal court Tuesday threw out the terrorism conviction of Osama bin Laden’s former bodyguard and driver, ruling that he was improperly prosecuted before a military tribunal for a war crime that did not exist at the time he was accused of having committed it.

The unanimous decision by a three-judge appeals panel came in the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who authorities say met bin Laden in 1996 at an al-Qaeda training camp.

Hamdan was tried in 2008 before a military commission at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was acquitted of conspiracy but convicted of material support of terrorism; he was sentenced to 5 1/ 2 years in prison and released in 2009 to his family in Yemen.

In seeking to overturn his conviction, Hamdan argued that material support of terrorism was not considered a war crime under international law when he was accused of aiding al-Qaeda. In a 28-page ruling, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit agreed. Read More

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