By MIKE MELIA, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago
A U.S. military jury gave Osama bin Laden's driver a surprisingly light sentence on Thursday, making him eligible for release in just five months despite the prosecutors' request for at least a 30-year sentence to deter would-be terrorists.
Salim Hamdan's sentence of 5 1/2 years, including five years and a month already served at Guantanamo Bay, fell far short of the life sentence he could have gotten for aiding terrorism by driving and guarding bin Laden. It now goes for mandatory review to a Pentagon official who can shorten the sentence but not extend it.
It remains unclear what will happen to Hamdan once his sentence is served, since the U.S. military has said it won't release anyone who still represents a threat. The judge, Navy Capt. Keith Allred, said Hamdan, who is from Yemen, would likely be eligible for the same administrative review process as other Guantanamo prisoners.