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Jury Dismisses Most Serious Charges Against Hamdan

The U.S.'s first war crimes trial since World War II has ended in a split verdict. Salim Ahmed Hamdan, who acknowledged he chauffeured Osama Bin Laden, was acquitted of conspiracy charges, but convicted on the lesser charge of providing "material support" to al-Qaida.

Hamdan is set to be sentenced by the same jury this afternoon at Guantanamo Bay. One curious aspect of the trial -- among many -- is that Hamdan's future depends little on the sentencing. The military can continue to hold Hamdan regardless of what the jury recommends.

The government has never alleged that Hamdan was a particularly important player in al-Qaida. Instead, it argued that he essentially aided and abetted terrorists. Perhaps its most damning charge was that Hamdan had transported surface-to-air missiles for al-Qaida.

The jury acquitted him on that charge. Instead, he was only convicted of providing support to al-Qaida "through his service as a driver." 

UPDATE: Here is the breakdown of each charge and how the jury ruled.

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