Conviction of Bin Laden driver overturned

Court overturns 2008 ruling saying Salim Ahmed Hamdan was tried for crimes from 1996 - 2001 using a 2006 law.

    A US court of appeals has overturned a conviction of Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama Bin Laden.

    Tuesday's reversal would see Hamdan's 2008 conviction of supporter terrorism being thrown out because he was tried under a law that did not apply to his the allegations against him.

    “Because we read the Military Commissions Act not to retroactively punish new crimes, and because material support for terrorism was not a pre-existing war crime under 10 U.S.C. § 821, Hamdan’s conviction for material support for terrorism cannot stand,” the District of Columbia appellate court ruled.

    The court noted that Hamdan’s crime occurred from 1996 to 2001.

    The 2006 Military Commissions  Act, which specifically lists material support for terrorism as a war crime triable by military commission, cannot be applied retroactively to cover Hamdan's five-year stint as a driver for the al-Qaeda leader.

    Hamdan was sentenced to five-and-a-half years by a panel of six US military officers in 2008.

    The ruling found that his role as driver to the al-Qaeda leader qualified as material support for terrorism.

    He was released early into his sentence because he had already spent six years in custody at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base detention camp in Cuba.

    Hamdan was the first detainee in the detention camp to be convicted of war crimes. He was captured in Afghanistan two months after the September 11 attacks.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.