Trial of Bin Laden's Driver Can Begin, Judge Rules

Tosses effort to stall; trial will begin Monday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2008 1:37 PM CDT
A detainee, left, walks in a fenced-in exercise area as a guard patrols on the grounds of the maximum-security prison at Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base, in Cuba, in this 2006 photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The first war crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay can begin Monday, a federal judge ruled today, saying civilian courts should let the military process play out as Congress intended. A US District judge rejected an effort by Osama bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, to postpone his trial.

The ruling is a victory for the Bush administration, which plans to use the military commission process to prosecute alleged Sept. 11 conspirators. The administration suffered a setback last month when the Supreme Court ruled the Guantanamo Bay detainees can challenge their detention in federal court. Hamdan's attorneys hoped to use that ruling to delay his trial. But the judge refused.