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Bin Laden Driver Convicted Of Supporting Al-Qaida

NPR's John McChesney reports on the verdict on 'All Things Considered'

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Salim Hamdan is seen in the foreground of a courtroom sketch made on July 23 inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base. Janet Hamlin/Getty Images hide caption

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Janet Hamlin/Getty Images

Salim Hamdan is seen in the foreground of a courtroom sketch made on July 23 inside the war crimes courthouse at Camp Justice, the legal complex of the U.S. Military Commissions in Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base.

Janet Hamlin/Getty Images

Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's former driver, was convicted of providing material support for terrorism but found not guilty of conspiracy by a panel of six military officers at Guantanamo Bay.

Hamdan, a Yemeni who faces up to a life sentence, held his head in his hands and wept when the verdict was read. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Hamdan is the first person to face a U.S. war crimes tribunal since World War II. His 10-day trial is the first demonstration of a special U.S. system for prosecuting alleged terrorists at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

The Pentagon-selected jury deliberated for about eight hours over three days before reaching its verdict.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in a statement that the Bush administration was pleased Hamdan received a fair trial, although critics have questioned the military commission process.

Hamdan, who was captured in November 2001 at a roadblock in Afghanistan with two surface-to-air missiles in his car, was never alleged to be more than a minor figure in al-Qaida, a chauffeur to bin Laden.