US Military Court rebukes prosecutors on Hamdan case

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 August 2008, 12:02 GMT]
A United States military jury sentenced Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, to 5 year 6 months, making Hamdan eligible for release from custody in 5 months after taking into account the pre-trial incarceration, Washington Post reported. "The sentence was a stunning rebuke to prosecutors who had insisted on a prison term of atleast 30 years and portrayed Hamdan thoroughout the trial as a hardened Al Queda warrior," the paper said.

The light sentence could also be used by the Bush administration to "counter allegations that the [military] tribunals are unfair because the rules give great lattitude to prosecutor," the paper said.

Military prosecutors have, however, said during the trial that an acquittal would not change Hamdan's status as a prisoner, as he was an "enemy combatant," and that Hamdan can be held in prison "until the campaign against terrorism is over," the paper added.

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WP: Bin Laden Driver Gets 51/2 Years; U.S. Sought 30


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