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Military Commissions Case Appealed to Supreme Court

Posted: August 22, 2005

A Guantanamo Bay detainee facing various terrorism-related conspiracy charges has filed a petition with the Supreme Court appealing a federal appellate decision validating special military tribunals.


On August 8, 2005, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, 34, who has been charged with conspiracy to commit attacks on civilians, murder, destruction of property and terrorism, filed a petition with the Supreme Court appealing an earlier decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. 


That decision validated special military commissions, which were established in 2001 by the Bush Administration to prosecute terrorism suspects for war crimes outside of the civilian and military court systems.  In its decision, the D.C. Circuit also rejected Hamdan’s effort to rely on the 1949 Geneva Convention governing the treatment of prisoners of war.  Supreme Court nominee Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. was part of the unanimous D.C. Circuit panel that upheld the military commissions.


Hamdan, born in Yemen, was allegedly Osama bin Laden’s driver and personal bodyguard in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.


The Supreme Court is expected to decide on whether it will grant review of Hamdan’s case this fall.

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2005 Anti-Defamation League