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Hamdan found guilty by Guantanamo military commission jury

[JURIST] The jury in the military commission trial of Salim Ahmed Hamdan [DOD materials; JURIST news archive] found Hamdan guilty on Wednesday of providing material support for terrorism, marking the first verdict rendered by a military commission trial at Guantanamo Bay. The jury [Miami Herald report], made up of six military officers, was selected on July 21, and the trial lasted for two weeks before deliberations [JURIST report] began Monday. They found Hamdan guilty on the charge [charge sheet, PDF] of providing material support for terrorism but innocent on the charge of conspiracy. He now faces a sentence of up to life in prison. BBC News has more. The Guardian has additional coverage.

Hamdan has been in US custody since 2001, when he was captured in Afghanistan and accused of working as Osama Bin Laden's driver. In 2006 he successfully challenged US President George W. Bush's military commission system when the Supreme Court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that the commission system as initially constituted violated US and international law. Congress subsequently passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [DOD materials], which established the current military commissions system. In April, Hamdan announced that he planned to boycott his military commission trial, and in May a military judge delayed the trial [JURIST reports] until July. A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia subsequently rejected [JURIST report] a bid by Hamdan's lawyers to stay his trial, ruling that a civilian court should refrain from reviewing the case until the military commission issues a final judgment. In July, the military court denied [JURIST report] Hamdan's motion to dismiss the charges against him, holding that the military commission assigned to his trial had jurisdiction to hear the case.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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