Salim Ahmed Hamdan

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Court Throws Out bin Laden Driver's Conviction

Salim Ahmed Hamdan's activities weren't a war crime at the time: US court

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden's former driver is off the hook in his conviction for supporting terrorism. A federal appeals court in Washington has overturned Salim Ahmed Hamdan's conviction in a 3-0 ruling, the AP reports. Its reasoning: When Hamdan was involved in the activities that landed the conviction, material... More »

Bin Laden's Driver Leaves Guantanamo

Convict transferred to Yemen to serve remainder of sentence

(Newser) - Salim Hamdan, the former driver of Osama bin Laden and one of only two suspected terrorists convicted at Guantanamo Bay, is being transferred to his homeland of Yemen. Hamdan was sentenced in August to just 5 months' detention on top of the 5 years he served at the prison camp,... More »

Clooney Mulls Movie on Qaeda Driver

Actor may play lawyer who fought for Gitmo prisoner's rights

(Newser) - Activist actor George Clooney is considering making the most politically charged film of his career, the Independent reports. The Syriana star has bought the movie rights to The Challenge, a book documenting the life and trial of Osama bin Laden's chauffeur Salim Hamdan, who was sentenced last week to nearly... More »

Six Months for Hamdan? Scrap Military Trials

It's time for a new system with elements of civilian courts

(Newser) - Salim Hamdan’s five-and-a-half-year prison sentence is a "stunningly unjust" joke, writes an enraged Andrew McCarthy in the National Review, especially because bin Laden’s driver will eligible for release in 6 months. Absurdly, he is now in a better position than his fellow detainees who haven’t been... More »

Hamdan Case Lends Tribunals Credibility

Proceeding prepares Gitmo court for moving on to bigger targets

(Newser) - The conviction of  Osama bin Laden’s driver on a relatively minor charge, and the imposition of a light sentence, may vouch for the integrity of the Guantanamo military court and clear the way for trials of upper-echelon detainees, the LA Times reports. The White House is particularly eager to... More »

Osama Driver Gets 66 Months

But Hamdan will be eligible for release in about 5 months

(Newser) - Salim Hamdan, the driver for Osama bin Laden convicted of providing material support for terrorism, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison today, Reuters reports. The military jury's sentence takes into effect time served at Guantanamo Bay, making him eligible for release in about 5 months. The... More »

Was Qaeda Cabbie Flunky or Warrior?

Hamdan's sentence depends on which image is convincing

(Newser) - Now that Salim Hamdan has been found guilty of driving Osama bin Laden around Afghanistan, sentencers must now decide if that makes him a warrior or a flunky, USA Today reports. Testimony from a psychiatrist describing Hamdan's path from impoverished Yemeni orphan to chauffeur for the world's most wanted man... More »

Jury Convicts bin Laden Driver

But acquits him of the most serious charge

(Newser) - A six-man military jury has convicted Salim Hamdan of providing material support to terrorists, while acquitting him of the most serious charge against him, the AP reports. Hamdan wept with his head in his hands as the jury declared Osama bin Laden’s former driver not guilty of conspiracy, but... More »

Jury Out in Trial of bin Laden's Driver

6 military officers deliberate: Was he essential to terror?

(Newser) - Jurors began deliberating today in the case Osama bin Laden's driver, the first US captive in a war crimes trial at Guantanamo, Reuters reports. In closing arguments, prosecutors restated their case that Salim Hamdan helped "the world's most dangerous terrorist" launch strikes against the US. The defense called him... More »

Bin Laden Driver Too 'Primitive' to Be a Terrorist: 9/11 Planner

Defense rests in first Gitmo war crimes trial

(Newser) - Ex-Bin Laden driver Salim Hamdan's defense rested today after insulting yet possibly exonerating testimony from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the LA Times reports. In the final testimony of Hamdan’s Guantanamo war crimes tribunal, Mohammed asserted in a written statement that Hamdan “did not play any role” in... More »

Guantanamo Only Looks Like a Real Trial

Beneath surface lie fundamental questions about its fairness

(Newser) - The first trial taking place at Guantanamo Bay has the look and feel of a real American court proceeding, but that appearance is in many ways just an illusion, writes William Glaberson in the New York Times. Secret evidence remains sealed in red folders, much of what is presented was... More »

Bin Laden Driver's Soft Spot: McDonald's Fries

FBI agents discovered he liked them during interrogations

(Newser) - Osama bin Laden’s driver warmed up to interrogators after he was given McDonald’s french fries, Reuters reports. He "even appreciated that McDonald's fries are not good cold," an FBI agent testified yesterday at Salim Hamdan’s war crimes trial. In another instance, he perked up when... More »

Gitmo Trial Describes al-Qaeda Inner Circle

Driver was key member of organization: prosecutor

(Newser) - Arguments in the trial of Salim Hamdan gave a view of al-Qaeda's inner circle today, as prosecutors opened by painting Osama bin Laden's driver as a key member of the organization, the Miami Herald reports. The lead prosecutor depicted Hamdan as a constant presence in high-level al-Qaeda operations and argued... More »

Judge in Gitmo Driver Trial Nixes Interrogation Evidence

Afghanistan questioning of Hamdan came after stress, without lawyer: defense

(Newser) - A military judge at the war-crimes tribunal for Osama bin Laden’s alleged driver today barred evidence from a series of 2002 interrogations in Afghanistan, the Miami Herald reports. Salim Hamdan says he was subjected to sleep deprivation and was not offered a lawyer; his defense team wants all interrogations... More »

Historic Terror Trial Starts Today

Bin Laden driver faces first US war crimes tribunal since WWII

(Newser) - The trial of Osama bin Laden's  former driver is set to begin at Guantanamo Bay today. Salim Hamdan, accused of transporting weapons, will be tried by the first military commission since the end of World War II, reports the Washington Post.The proceedings promise to be the first big test... More »

Gitmo Trial Will Proceed After Judge Threatens Delay

Defense lawyers win access to alleged 9/11 mastermind

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors will give lawyers for Osama bin Laden's ex-driver access to accused 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed this weekend, ensuring that the first Guantanamo tribunal will begin Monday as scheduled, the Miami Herald reports. The judge in the case apparently forced the hand of the government lawyers prosecuting Salim... More »

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

Tosses effort to stall; trial will begin Monday

(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. More »

Gitmo Inmates May Testify for bin Laden Aide

Prosecutors seek to block testimony as threat to national security

(Newser) - Fellow Guantanamo Bay inmates may testify at the upcoming terror trial of Osama bin Laden’s former driver, the Washington Post reports. Lawyers for Salim Ahmed Hamdan hope the testimony will prove their client was not a high-level terror operative. The military officer in charge of the case said he... More »

Gitmo Defense Lawyers See Case as a 'Privilege'

They take it pro bono to 'rein in' federal abuse

(Newser) - Defending a Guantanamo Bay detainee isn't a normal pro bono case for Seattle corporate lawyers used to making $575 an hour, the Post-Intelligencer reports: But Harry Schneider and Joe McMillan say the "effort to rein in" what they see as President Bush's legal abuse is motivation enough. "Even... More »

New Gitmo Hearing for Osama Driver

Third trial for man who drove bin Laden in 9/11 escape

(Newser) - The man who drove Osama bin Laden when he evacuated his compound just before  9/11 was the subject of a hearing yesterday on whether he can be tried as an unlawful enemy combatant. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was paid $200 a month as a driver and bodyguard for bin Laden,... More »

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