WASHINGTON, July 17 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that Osama bin Laden's former driver should be tried by a military tribunal before he appeals the court's constitutionality.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson refused to grant Salim Hamdan a delay in his trial, The New York Times reported.
Hamdan, an alleged member of al-Qaida and "unlawful enemy combatant," is to be the first defendant held in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be tried. Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld was the landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Robertson's 2004 rejection of the Bush administration's initial plans for military tribunals. Congress responded with the Military Commissions Act.
"Hamdan is to face a military commission designed by Congress under guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court," Robertson said.
During a two-hour hearing, Hamdan's lawyers argued that he should be allowed to appeal the constitutionality of the trial procedure beforehand. They said that forcing him into a procedure that allows hearsay testimony and evidence obtained by torture could do him irreversible harm.