Legal debate continues after the first conviction of a Guantánamo detainee
The mixed verdict is "a setback for military prosecutors," who had hoped for a conviction on all counts, reports The New York Times. The article adds that both sides tried to emphasize the importance of the trial by portraying it as the heir to the 1940s Nuremberg trials against the former Nazi leadership. The defense team criticized the Nazi rhetoric as theater, saying that personal servants of the Nazis were never considered war criminals.
The rules for the Hamdan trial were laid out in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which was modified after the Supreme Court ruled in June that defendants convicted before military courts must be allowed to appeal to a federal civilian court.
Under the military commission, Hamdan did not have all the rights normally accorded either by U.S. civilian or military courts. The judge allowed secret testimony and hearsay evidence. Hamdan was not judged by a jury of his peers and he received no Miranda warning about his rights.
Hamdan's attorneys said interrogations at the center of the government's case were tainted by coercive tactics, including sleep deprivation and solitary confinement.