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October 18, 2008

Legal wranglings over sentence in Hamdan case

Friday's Wall Street Journal had this interesting article headlined "New Sentence Is Sought for Bin Laden's Driver."  Here is how it starts:

The Bush administration wants the military jury that sentenced Osama bin Laden's former driver to reconvene for new deliberations that could add five years to his scheduled release date of Dec. 31.

In August, a six-officer panel convicted Salim Hamdan of providing material support to terrorism.  It acquitted him of a more serious conspiracy charge and sentenced him to four months and 22 days beyond the time he had already served -- far less than the 30 years prosecutors sought....

Prosecutor John Murphy, a Justice Department attorney, initially said the government accepted the decision and called it "a victory for the system."  But on Sept. 24, prosecutors filed a motion asking that the sentence be reconsidered.  The Defense Department released the document Thursday, after inquiries by The Wall Street Journal.

The motion contends that the military judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, lacked authority to credit Mr. Hamdan for the time he served in pretrial confinement.  Without such credit, Mr. Hamdan, who was captured in November 2001, would face an extra five years.

October 18, 2008 at 07:19 AM | Permalink

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