WASHINGTON – The Justice Department says a federal appeals court must reverse the military commission convictions in a terrorism case even though the Obama administration believes the convictions are consistent with the Constitution and federal law.
The government said that overturning the convictions of Ali Hamza Ahmad Suliman Al Bahlul is necessary because the appeals court is bound by a ruling last October throwing out the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver. The driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, served a prison term for material support for terrorism.
Preserving its appeal rights, the department said the legal rationale in the Hamdan ruling is incorrect and that the department intends to seek further review of the issue.
Bahlul was convicted of providing material support for terrorism and conspiracy and solicitation to commit war crimes.