Defense Rests in Salim Hamdan Gitmo Trial
The defense has rested in the Guantanamo military commission trial of former driver Osama bin Laden driver Salim Hamdan.
The testimony for the defense portion of the case was closed to the public and journalists -- not because Hamdan or his lawyers wanted it closed but because the rules mandated it.
The classified testimony adds a new layer of controversy to a military justice system that critics contend is essentially rigged to secure convictions. Hamdan is the defendant in the first U.S. military commission since World War II, and virtually all of the trial had been open until now.
...."No court, civilian or military, has credibility when it listens to secret evidence in a closed courtroom," said Lou Fisher, author of a book about the 1942 military trial of eight accused Nazi saboteurs, six of whom were executed.
As to what we do know of the defense case:
The defense wrapped up its case with written evidence from accused September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and an alleged co-conspirator who were asked about Hamdan's role in the bin Laden organization.
The answers were not made public, but a defense lawyer described them as replying that Hamdan was fit to change tires and oil filters but not fit to plan or execute missions.
Whether he wins or loses, Hamdan likely isn't going anywhere:
Hamdan faces life in prison if convicted on charges of conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism. The Bush administration argues it can also hold him as an "enemy combatant," even if he is acquitted of the terrorism charges, until the "end of hostilities" in the war on terrorism.
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