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Military jury convicts bin Laden's driver

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    Military jury convicts bin Laden s driver By MIKE MELIA Associated Press http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080806/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/guantanamo_bin_ laden_s_driver
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6 12:09 PM
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      Military jury convicts bin Laden's driver
      By MIKE MELIA
      Associated Press
      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080806/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/guantanamo_bin_
      laden_s_driver


      GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - A jury of six military officers at
      Guantanamo Bay reached a split verdict Wednesday in the war crimes
      trial of a former driver for Osama bin Laden, clearing him of some
      charges but convicting him of others that could send him to prison
      for life.

      The Pentagon-selected jury deliberated for about eight hours over
      three days before convicting Salim Hamdan of supporting terrorism.
      He was cleared of the conspiracy charge.

      Hamdan, who faces a maximum life sentence, held his head in his
      hands and wept at the defense table after a Navy captain presiding
      over the jury read the sentence in a hilltop courtroom on this U.S.
      Navy base.

      The judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for later Wednesday.
      Defense lawyers had feared a guilty verdict was inevitable, saying
      the tribunal system's rules seemed designed to achieve convictions,
      said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, Salim Hamdan's Pentagon-appointed
      attorney.

      "I don't know if the panel can render fair what has already
      happened," Mizer told reporters as the jury deliberated.
      Hamdan's attorneys said the judge allowed evidence that would not
      have been admitted by any civilian or military U.S. court, and that
      interrogations at the center of the government's case were tainted
      by coercive tactics, including sleep deprivation and solitary
      confinement.

      Supporters of the tribunals said the Bush administration's system
      provided extraordinary due process rights for defendants.
      "This military judge is to be commended for providing a fair and
      internationally legally sufficient trial for the accused and the
      government — regardless of the ultimate verdict," said
      Charles "Cully" Stimson, a former deputy assistant secretary of
      defense for detainee affairs.

      Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan in
      November 2001 and taken to Guantanamo in May 2002.

      The military accused him of transporting missiles for al-Qaida and
      helping bin Laden escape U.S. retribution following the Sept. 11
      attacks by driving him around Afghanistan. Defense attorneys said he
      was merely a low-level bin Laden employee.

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