Accused bin Laden driver walks out of hearing

Miami HeraldApril 28, 2008 

GUATANAMO BAY, Cuba — Osama bin Laden's driver appeared at his war crimes trial Monday looking disheveled and threatened a boycott when a judge postponed until June a hearing on whether his confinement was affecting his mental health.

Lawyers for Salim Ahmed Hamdan, 36, of Yemen filed a brief in February protesting what they argue has been a protracted regime of virtual solitary confinement behind the detention center's barbed wire. Prison camp spokesmen say there is no such thing as solitary confinement at Guantánamo. They say detainees can see guards, get open-air recreation, shout to other detainees through slits in their cell doors through which food is delivered — and sometimes see other captives coming and going through the slits, called ``bean holes.''

Hamdan, normally mild-mannered driver, looked stricken at the judge's ruling and asked to be excused, the latest of four detainees to seek to walk out on the proceedings.

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