Former Osama bin Laden driver Salim Hamdan was sentenced today to five and a half years in prison for his role in providing material support to terrorism. Hamdan will get credit for the nearly sixty-one months he has already spent in confinement.
Although the verdict is being characterized as a “stunning rebuke” of the prosecution, who argued for at least 30 years, it is not clear that the relatively light sentence means Hamdan will be released anytime soon. As the Washington Post reports,
It is uncertain what will happen to Hamdan when he finishes serving his time in January. Military prosecutors said during the trial that an acquittal would not change Hamdan’s status as a prisoner. He was declared an enemy combatant by the military in a separate proceeding, and the administration has said it can hold such combatants until the campaign against terrorism is deemed over.
More trials will follow in the coming months.