Verdict in bin Laden driver war crimes trial
The jury in the Hamdan case gives a mixed result, but it's seen as a victory for Bush administration.
The guilty verdict delivered against former Osama bin Laden driver Salim Ahmed Hamdan on Wednesday establishes a legal precedent that will make it easier for prosecutors to convict other suspected war criminals in military commission trials at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Mr. Hamdan, a Yemeni national, was convicted of providing material support to a terror group. But the six-member war crimes tribunal also found Hamdan not guilty of charges that he was a willing participant with Al Qaeda in a terror conspiracy.
The split verdict comes in the first war crimes tribunal conducted by the US military since World War II. The military commission, made up of six officers hand-picked by the Pentagon, reached its verdict after eight hours of deliberations over three days.
The conviction marks an important victory for the Bush administration.
The Bush administration has faced a heated debate and a barrage of legal challenges over its plan to use the Guantánamo terror prison camp as a venue for bringing Al Qaeda suspects to justice.
Supporters of the commission system say its stripped-down trial protections are necessary to safeguard sensitive intelligence sources and methods while providing a fair trial. Critics say the process is rigged to produce convictions and cover up alleged torture and other mistreatment of terror suspects.