Historic Terror Trial Starts Today

Bin Laden driver faces first US war crimes tribunal since WWII
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 2:42 AM CDT
Historic Terror Trial Starts Today
Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan, far left, sits flanked by his legal team inside the courtroom during a U.S. Military Tribunal arraignment, at Guantanamo Bay, Monday, June 4, 2007.    (AP Photo/Janet Hamlin, Pool)

The trial of Osama bin Laden's  former driver is set to begin at Guantanamo Bay today. Salim Hamdan, accused of transporting weapons, will be tried by the first military commission since the end of World War II, reports the Washington Post.The proceedings promise to be the first big test of the controversial military justice system introduced after the 9/11 attacks.

A jury of military officers will hear the case under rules much more deferential to the prosecution than a civilian trial;  hearsay evidence and evidence gained from "cruel" and "inhuman" interrogation may be permitted under some circumstances. Due to his enemy combatant status, Hamdan is unlikely to be released even if the court acquits him of of conspiracy and material support of terrorism charges. (More Salim Ahmed Hamdan stories.)

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