Bin Laden driver’s conviction reversed by court

A federal appeals court’s decision to toss the conviction of…

A federal appeals court’s decision to toss the conviction of Osama bin Laden’s former driver could have implications for future prosecutions of terrorism suspects.

The driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, was detained by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in November 2001 and sent to Guantánamo. In the first U.S. military war crimes trial since World War II, a jury of six military officers found Hamdan guilty in 2008 of providing material support to terrorism and sentenced him to 5 1/2 years in prison.

But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday threw out that conviction, stating in a 3-0 decision that material support for terrorism was not proscribed as an international war crime until Congress passed the Military Commissions Act in 2006. Since Hamdan worked for bin Laden from 1996 to 2001, he cannot be punished retroactively, the court concluded.

“Indeed the Executive Branch acknowledges that the international law of war did not — and still does not — identify material support for terrorism as a war crime,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Read more at The Miami Herald

Load Comments