Yemen frees Salim Hamdan after jail term ends

The Guantanamo tribunals have been condemned by human rights groups and U.S. scholars who say they were rigged to convict by allowing evidence obtained through coercion, hearsay and torture and retroactive laws.

Yemen frees Salim Hamdan after jail term ends
Yemen has freed alleged Osama bin Laden's former driver after he served out his prison term following his return home from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in November, his lawyer said on Sunday.

"Salim Hamdan was released on Thursday to live with his family in Sanaa," attorney Khaled al-Ansi told Reuters. He said Hamdan had signed a pledge not to commit any violent acts.

An Interior Ministry official confirmed the release of Hamdan, who was convicted in a United States court and sent back to Yemen by the U.S.

In the first U.S. war crimes trial since World War Two, Hamdan was convicted in August of driving and guarding bin Laden.

Hamdan was sentenced to 66 months in prison but given credit for time served at Guantanamo. His term was to end by Dec. 31. and the Pentagon said the remainder would be served in Yemen.

He was the first prisoner convicted in a trial of the widely-criticised tribunals set up outside civilian and military courts at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by the administration of President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress.

About 100 of the 250 prisoners remaining at Guantanamo are from Yemen, bin Laden's ancestral home.

The Guantanamo tribunals have been condemned by human rights groups and U.S. scholars who say they were rigged to convict by allowing evidence obtained through coercion, hearsay and torture and retroactive laws.


Reuters
Last Mod: 12 Ocak 2009, 12:43
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