US court throws out bin Laden driver conviction | Pakistan Today

US court throws out bin Laden driver conviction

A US federal court threw out Tuesday the conviction of Osama bin Laden’s former driver, once jailed at Guantanamo Bay, saying material support for terrorism does not constitute a war crime.
While Salim Hamdan has already been freed, the Yemeni’s appeal in civilian court could have ramifications for other suspects because “material support for terrorism” is a common charge against detainees at the US prison camp in Cuba.
A three-judge bench at the US Court of Appeals in Washington said that a law that listed material support for terrorism as a war crime — approved in 2006 in response to Hamdan’s case — could not apply to him retroactively. US prosecutors instead had to rely on international law, which defines some forms of terrorism — such as the intentional targeting of civilians — as war crimes, the court said. “But the issue here is whether ‘material support for terrorism’ is an international-law war crime. The answer is no,” wrote Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
“International law leaves it to individual nations to proscribe material support for terrorism under their domestic laws if they so choose. There is no international-law proscription of material support for terrorism,” he said.



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