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Hamdan to be Released to Yemen

The New York Times is reporting this morning:

The United States military has decided to release a former driver for Osama bin Laden whose trial became a test case for the Bush administration’s system of military commissions for accused terrorists, Yemeni officials said.

The driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and convicted and sentenced in August, will be released from Guantánamo Bay detention center in the coming days and transferred to his native Yemen, where he will serve the remaining month of his sentence, according to the Yemeni officials.

Once considered a dangerous terrorist by the Bush administration, Mr. Hamdan was convicted only on lesser charges in August and given what amounted to a four-month sentence by a military jury. At that time, a military judge gave Mr. Hamdan credit for at least the 61 months he was held after being charged, reducing his sentence to a matter of months. The verdict was a sharp setback for Pentagon officials, who had contended they could detain him indefinitely.

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Anthony Clark Arend is Professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the Director of the Master of Science in Foreign Service in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.