Bin Laden's driver loses appeal

June 26, 2011 at 11:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. Court of Military Commission says Osama bin Laden's driver got a fair trial in front of a military tribunal.

In an 86-page opinion released Friday, the commission said the military can use special courts for foreign nationals accused of attacks on U.S. citizens, The Miami Herald reported. The decision upholds the administration of President George W. Bush in its position on the treatment of terrorist detainees.

Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni national paid $200 to work for bin Laden, won a test case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006. The court found the administration's original plan for trying detainees being held at Guantanamo was unconstitutional.

Hamdan was convicted under a new procedure in 2008 and received a short sentence. He had already been released by the time President Obama took office.

The court of seven military judges in one controversial move cited Gen. Andrew Jackson's execution of two British nationals convicted by a military court of helping black slaves take refuge with the Seminoles in what was then Spanish Florida. The future president revised the punishment, believing the men deserved more than a whipping.

There are still 171 detainees waiting for trials at Guantanamo, including five who could receive death sentences.

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