Huffpost Politics

Bin Laden Driver's Lawyer Wants Charges Dismissed After Supreme Court's Guantanamo Ruling

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A lawyer for Osama bin Laden's former driver said Thursday he would try to stop the first scheduled war-crimes trial at Guantanamo Bay now that the Supreme Court says detainees have constitutional rights.

Other lawyers are expected to join in a blizzard of filings to the war-crimes tribunal and to U.S. federal courts after the ruling Thursday that detainees at Guantanamo Bay are entitled to habeas corpus, the right to challenge their detention in civilian court.

Bin Laden's former driver, Salim Hamdan, has been held at Guantanamo Bay since May 2002, and is one of only 19 of the roughly 270 men still held who has been charged with a crime. His military trial was scheduled to be the first.

The Supreme Court ruling complicates the Bush administration's repeated attempts to put suspected terrorists before war-crimes tribunals at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba.

"The entire legal framework under which Mr. Hamdan was to be tried has been turned on its head," Hamdan's lawyer, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, told The Associated Press.

Mizer said the defense lawyers can now argue that their clients have the right to confront their accusers and not incriminate themselves, both of which have been denied under the Military Commissions Act.

Mizer said he will file a motion next week also arguing that Hamdan was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. The military judge postponed the Yemeni's June 2 trial pending the Supreme Court ruling, and it is unclear what he will do now.


Associated Press writers Andrew O. Selsky and Michael Melia contributed to this report.