UMass Dartmouth Professor Brian Glyn Williams was called as a law and legal expert witness in the judicial proceedings to determine the legal status of Osama bin Laden’s driver, Salim Hamdan. Hamdan is being held as an “alien unlawful enemy combatant,” which denies him Geneva Convention rights as prisoner of war. Glyn’s role as an expert witness was to shed light on the military command structure of the Taliban and Al Qaida armies. SouthCoastToday.com also reports:
…Capt. Allred denied Mr. Hamdan’s appeal, in essence ruling that he was neither a member of a full-fledged army such as Dr. Williams described on the stand nor a low-level employee somewhere in the rear.
“In addition, these rulings will not only now provide a basis for Hamdan to appeal any future conviction by the commission, but may also have provided a windfall for other detainees (there are 330 at Guantanamo, in Dr. Williams’ estimate).
“Other detainees brought to trial before the commission in the future will now also be able to assert entitlement to POW status. Accordingly, for the first time since the United States began detaining “enemy combatants,” their status, prior to being tried, will turn on a factual analysis performed by a judicial officer, and not on conclusive determinations made by politicians,” Mr. Corn (assistant professor of law at South Texas College and a retired Army lieutenant colonel)
Excerpted from UMD professor testifies as expert witness at trial of bin Laden’s driver, Steve Urbon, Standard-Times senior correspondent, December 30, 2007.