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US appeals court reverses bin Laden driver sentence

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver and bodyguard, Salim Hamdan, on charges of supporting terrorism, in a long-running case emerging from the American military trials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that providing support for terrorism was not a war crime at the time of Hamdan's alleged conduct from 1996 to 2001 and therefore could not support a conviction.

Human rights activists hailed the ruling as a blow to the legitimacy of the military commission system.

Hamdan was captured at a roadblock in Afghanistan in November 2001, not long after the U.S. invasion of that country following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

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