Appeals court sets aside conviction of bin Laden assistant

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A federal appeals court has set aside the military commission conviction of a Guantanamo Bay detainee who allegedly produced an al-Qaida recruiting video and served as Osama bin Laden's personal assistant and public relations secretary.
   
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 that the conspiracy case against the detainee was legally flawed because conspiracy is not a war crime. The detainee is Ali Hamza al-Bahlul.

The system of military commissions was created by the administration of President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Obama administration argued that Congress acted within its authority in making conspiracy a crime that could be tried by military commission.

Al-Bahlul's lawyers argued that military commissions can only try offenses under the law of war.


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