'Abuse claims'

The Yemeni national was captured at a roadblock in southern Afghanistan in November 2001, allegedly with two surface-to-air missiles in his car.

He says he drove for bin Laden in Afghanistan because he needed the $200 in monthly wages but denies joining al-Qaeda, pledging loyalty to bin Laden or participating in attacks.

Hamdan has already spent six years in prison at the Guantanamo prison camp, and his defence lawyers say he was subjected to abuse while in US custody, including humiliating interrogation tactics and sleep deprivation.

The Bush administration has faced heated criticism over the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and the special tribunals, which operate under different rules to other military courts or civilian ones.