Politics & Government

Judge won't delay July 21 trial of Bin Laden's driver

A military judge has refused to delay the midsummer trial of Osama bin Laden's driver at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying lawyers have sufficient time to review a recent Supreme Court decision.

Navy Capt. Keith Allred wrote in a decision released by the Pentagon Friday that the trial of Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni, would open at the remote base on July 21, as scheduled.

Hamdan, a 37-year-old father of two with a fourth-grade education, is accused of providing material support to terror, both by helping the al Qaeda chieftain elude capture and for allegedly having some surface-to-air missiles in his car when allied U.S. forces took Hamdan into custody in November 2001 in Afghanistan. Conviction could carry life in prison.

His lawyers had sought a nine-week delay so that they could study a June 12 Supreme Court ruling that Guantanamo detainees have the right to file writs of habeas corpus in U.S. civilian courts. His lawyers said they needed that long to determine what rights the Supreme Court ruling granted Hamdan and how he could exercise them.

Allred warned, however, that Hamdan's defense team might still raise constitutional issues based on the Supreme Court ruling that would force him to postpone the trial.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com.