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US Military Judge: Bin Laden's Former Driver Can Be Tried at Guantanamo


A U.S. military judge has ruled that the former driver for al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is not a prisoner of war, and that he can be tried by a war crimes tribunal at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The decision to classify Salim Ahmed Hamdan as an enemy combatant clears the way for the former driver to be tried on charges of conspiracy and supporting terrorism.

Hamdan was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 in a car with two anti-aircraft missiles.

His attorneys acknowledged that he was a driver for bin Laden, although they said he was not involved in any terrorist activities. They argued that he should be classified as a prisoner of war, with more legal protections than enemy combatants. But a federal agent testified earlier this month that the Yemeni suspect was aware of al-Qaida operations.

The U.S. military facility at Guantanamo Bay houses about 290 terror suspects captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.