The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of Salim Hamdan from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Yemen.
On Aug. 6, 2008, Hamdan was convicted of material support to terrorism at trial by military commission. A military panel of six officers found Hamdan guilty of charges that included service as a Bin Laden bodyguard in Afghanistan both before and after the attacks of Sept. 11.
As part of a transfer agreement with the United States, the remainder of Hamdan’s sentence will be served in Yemen. Hamdan was sentenced to 5 ½ years in prison, with 5 years and one month credited for pre-trial confinement. The sentence will end on Dec. 27, 2008.
Military commissions have historically been used to prosecute enemy combatants who violate the laws of war and provide a full and fair trial, while protecting classified and sensitive information and all personnel participating in the process, including the accused.
The law of war provides the legal framework to hold enemy combatants for the duration of hostilities. Trials by military commission demonstrate that the United States is committed to holding dangerous terror suspects accountable for their actions.
Since 2002, more than 520 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Yemen.
Approximately 250 detainees remain at Guantanamo.