Picture: (AFP/Pool/File/Janet Hamlin)- Artist’s sketch, reviewed by the U.S. military, shows defendant Salim Hamdan at his trial inside Camp Justice, at Guantanamo Bay. US military jurors are to resume deliberations in the trial against Osama bin Laden’s driver, even though defense lawyers and rights advocates have dismissed the “war on terror” tribunal system as fundamentally unfair.
By Dan De Luce
US military jurors are to resume deliberations today in the trial against Osama bin Laden’s driver, even though defense lawyers and rights advocates have dismissed the “war on terror” tribunal system as fundamentally unfair.
Defense lawyers say the first full trial before the special military tribunals set up by President George W. Bush showed the system was skewed in favor of prosecutions, allowing hearsay evidence and information gathered during allegedly coercive interrogations.
As six military officers prepared for a third day of deliberations on whether Salim Hamdan conspired and assisted the so called Al-Qaeda network, defense lawyers told reporters the trial was “lacking in certain fundamental rights that would be available in any other American courtroom.”
Asked if he had faith in the jurors weighing the evidence against his client, one of Hamdan’s lawyers, Charles Swift says “It’s not a problem with the people (on the jury), it’s a problem with the system.”
Prosecutors and US military officials say the tribunal offers suspects a fair trial, arguing that accused suspects cannot be treated as ordinary soldiers in uniform answering to a state army.
Hamdan, a Yemeni national who has spent more than six years at the Guantnamo prison, remained anxious as he waited for the verdict.
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