NPR : News

Filed Under:

Court Reverses Conviction Of Bin Laden's Driver

Today's decision by a federal appeals court to overturn the conviction of a former driver for Osama bin Laden is unlikely to affect the high-profile cases against the accused architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks or other suspected terrorists who face multiple charges, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston said earlier on All Things Considered.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan was bin Laden's driver from 1996 to 2001. He was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001 and convicted in 2008 by a U.S. military commission of providing "material support for terrorism," as The Associated Press writes. Hamdan was "sentenced to 5 1/2 years, given credit for time served and is back home in Yemen, reportedly working as a taxi driver," the AP adds.

But the court said today that because providing material support wasn't a recognized crime under the military commissions act until 2006 and was not a crime under international law at the time he was bin Laden's driver, Hamdan should not have been found guilty.

The Hamdan case, NPR's Nina Totenberg adds in a report for our Newscast Desk, "became a symbol of the Bush administration's troubled legal policies" regarding the suspected terrorists being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Today's 3-0 ruling, she notes, came from "conservative, Republican appointees."

It isn't known, Dina said on All Things Considered, just how many of the 16 to 60 detainees at Guantanamo who are awaiting trial might only have been charged with providing material support for terrorism. After today's court ruling, she said, "prosecutors will have to charge them with something else or just hold them indefinitely."

The accused architect of the 2001 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, though, and others suspected of being top al-Qaida figures, "are being charged with more than just providing material support," Dina noted.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Risk Of Opioid Overdose Climbs At Middle Age

Most of the millions taking prescription painkillers are older than 45, research shows, and there's been a recent increase in drug overdose deaths among people over 55. Drug mixing is partly to blame.
NPR

The Environmental Cost Of Growing Food

Economists are working on ways to put a price on the environmental damage of growing food. Take sugar: Half of what we eat comes from beets, half from cane. Each has an impact, in very different ways.
NPR

FBI Probe of Clinton Email Use Advances With Aides' Interviews

Federal investigators have interviewed top aides to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. They're asking whether her email practices as secretary of state compromised government secrets.
NPR

'Captain America' Is Trending In Nigeria But You Might Be Surprised Why

Nigerian netizens are using the hashtag #CaptainAmericaInNigeria as a vehicle for cheeky social and political commentary.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.