US seeks at least 30 years for bin Laden driver

Salim Hamdan pleaded with a military jury to spare him from a life in prison, apologizing Thursday for the "innocent people" who died in the Sept. 11 attacks and saying he worked as Osama bin Laden's driver only because he needed a job. Military prosecutors asked for a sentence of no less than 30 years, asking the Pentagon-appointed jury to make an example of him. The five men and one woman began their deliberations Thursday afternoon in the yellow courthouse overlooking an abandoned airport runway. The jury convicted Hamdan, a Yemeni man with a fourth-grade education, of aiding terrorism by chauffeuring bin Laden around Afghanistan at the time of the 2001 attacks. But Hamdan said he merely had a "relationship of respect" with bin Laden, as would any other employee. "It's true there are work opportunities in Yemen, but not at the level I needed after I got married and not to the level of ambitions that I had in my future," he said, reading in Arabic from a prepared statement.