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Bin Laden Driver Convicted Of Supporting Al-Qaida

Salim Hamdan is seen in the foreground of a courtroom sketch made on July 23 inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base.
Janet Hamlin
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Salim Hamdan is seen in the foreground of a courtroom sketch made on July 23 inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base.

Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's former driver, was convicted of providing material support for terrorism but found not guilty of conspiracy by a panel of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay.

Hamdan, a Yemeni who faces up to a life sentence, held his head in his hands and wept when the verdict was read. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Hamdan is the first person to face a U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II. His 10-day trial is the first demonstration of a special U.S. system for prosecuting alleged terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The Pentagon-selected jury deliberated for about eight hours over three days before reaching its verdict.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in a statement that the Bush administration was pleased Hamdan received a fair trial, although critics have questioned the military commission process.

Hamdan, who was captured in November 2001 at a roadblock in Afghanistan with two surface-to-air missiles in his car, was never alleged to be more than a minor figure in al-Qaida, a chauffeur to bin Laden.

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