A military panel announced today that Salim Ahmed Hamdan of Yemen was found guilty of providing material support to terrorism by a military commission under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Hamdan was found guilty on five of eight specifications of material support to terrorism, numbers 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8. He was found not-guilty by the panel members (jury) on the charge of conspiracy.
Now that Hamdan has been found guilty of these offenses, the commission will determine an appropriate sentence. Based on the crime for which he has been convicted he faces the maximum sentence of life in prison.
Hamdan's conviction at trial is one step in the military commission process. After the trial is complete his case will receive an automatic review by the Convening Authority, who will evaluate the legal sufficiency of the findings and appropriateness of the sentence. Hamdan will still be represented by counsel and have the opportunity to submit matters for consideration on his behalf. Then his case will receive an automatic review by the Court of Military Commission Review. Thereafter, he could appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court.
Trials by military commission demonstrate that the United States is committed to holding dangerous terror suspects accountable for their actions. Military commissions provide a mechanism to serve justice to those accused of law of war violations while keeping the United States, friends and allies safe from those determined on carrying out attacks on civilian populations and coalition forces.
Military commissions are constituted courts, affording all the necessary judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples for purposes of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention.
A link to Hamdan's list of charges can be viewed on the Military Commission Web site at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/May2007/Hamdan_Charges.pdf .