Guantanamo/Detainees

Bin Laden Driver Fighting Tribunal Law


The lawyer for the man who acted as Osama Bin Laden’s driver says he will challenge the new military tribunal system in a trial that begins today.

The driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, is among the first detainees charged under the new system, the Associated Press reports. He goes on trial today on charges of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts and providing material support to terrorists.

Hamdan challenged the old system of Guantanamo military commissions and succeeded before the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court said the government didn’t have legislative authority to create the military commissions. Congress responded with the Military Commissions Act in 2006.

Hamdan’s lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Charles Swift, told the Associated Press that the new law applied retroactively to make certain conduct a crime in violation of the Constitution. “This case raises significant questions” about the separation of powers, he said.

Also facing trial today is Omar Khadr, a Canadian who was 15 when he was captured in Afghanistan. Defense lawyers argue that prosecuting a child fighter violates international law, the New York Times reports.

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