A former driver for Osama Bin Laden has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy and supporting terrorism. The Yemini national is appearing before a controversial court in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. In his thirties, Salim Ahmed Hamdan is being tried for conspiracy and giving material support for terrorism. If found guilty he faces life imprisonment.
The tribunal, the first US war crimes trial since the Second World War, was created especially by George Bush in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Since Hamdan was sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 the prison has become the focus of allegations of torture and abuse. Terror suspects are denied rights under the Geneva convention aimed at protecting prisoners of war.
Prosecutors claim Hamdan was close to Bin Laden’s inner circle and sometimes picked up and delivered weapons. The defence says he was merely a driver in Bin Laden’s motor pool.
Hamdan’s lawyers have been pressing to throw out key evidence, including his own confessions, which they say were obtained through coercion.