Bin Laden's former cook given 14-year sentence

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The Independent US

Osama Bin Laden's former cook and driver has become the first Guantanamo detainee to be sentenced since Barack Obama pledged to close the controversial prison camp.

Ibrahim al-Qosi, 51, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and providing material support for terrorism after US prosecutors charged him with serving as a driver, cook and armed guard for Bin Laden between 1996 and 2001, and with providing security, transportation and supply services for an al-Qa'ida compound in Afghanistan between 1998 and 2001.

On Wednesday a jury at a military commission in Guantanamo sentenced the Sudanese national to 14 years' imprisonment. He is the first detainee to be sentenced by a Guantanamo Bay military tribunal since President Obama took office and pledged to close the detention camps. But Qosi is expected to serve far fewer years under a plea deal that remains secret.

The case has focused concerns about the fairness of the military commissions. Andrea Prasow, a lawyer observing the hearings for Human Rights Watch, said: "To find out that the first conviction under the Obama administration is accompanied by a secret plea agreement, coupled with a dummy sentence, it's really troubling. I think this proceeding was a farce."

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