Appeals court to reconsider ruling on ex-bin Laden assistant

AP News
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Posted: Sep 25, 2015 3:44 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has decided to reconsider a decision setting aside the only remaining conviction of a Guantanamo Bay detainee who once served as Osama bin Laden's personal assistant.

A divided three-judge panel of the appeals court in Washington, D.C., had ruled in June that the conspiracy case against Ali Hamza al-Bahlul was legally flawed because conspiracy is not a war crime.

But the full court said Friday it would grant the Obama administration's request to throw out that ruling and hear the case again. Experts said the original ruling could hamstring the government's ability to prosecute terror suspects outside of civilian courts.

The government argues Congress acted within its authority in making conspiracy a crime that can be tried by military commission.

Arguments will take place Dec. 1.