The Latest: Appeals court hears Russian Taliban fighter case - InfoNews

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The Latest: Appeals court hears Russian Taliban fighter case

December 05, 2017 - 8:51 AM

RICHMOND, Va. - The Latest on arguments before a federal appeals court in the case of a former Russian military officer who received a life sentence for leading a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan (all times local):

11:40 a.m.

A federal appeals court has heard a second round of arguments in the case of a former Russian military officer who is serving a life sentence for leading a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals first heard an appeal from Irek Hamidullin last December. After one of the judges on the three-judge panel announced he was stepping down to become Baltimore's city solicitor, the court agreed to hear additional arguments.

Hamidullin led an attack on Afghan border police officers and coalition forces on behalf of the Taliban and its terrorist organization ally, the Haqqani Network. Hamidullin was captured after being shot and wounded.

In court Tuesday, Hamidullin's lawyer said his client was a soldier, not a criminal, and should have been treated as a lawful combatant. A Justice Department lawyer argued that fighters aligned with the Taliban don't qualify for lawful-combatant status.

The court did not indicate when it would rule.

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11:20 a.m.

A lawyer for a former Russian military officer who led a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan has told a federal appeals court the man was a soldier, not a criminal, and should have been treated as a lawful combatant.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Irek Hamidullin, who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on charges that including providing material support to terrorists.

Hamidullin's lawyer said he should have been treated as a prisoner of war after his capture by coalition forces.

But a Justice Department lawyer told the three-judge panel that fighters aligned with the Taliban don't qualify for lawful-combatant status. He said prisoner-of-war protections only apply in international armed conflicts. He said the war in Afghanistan was not an international conflict at the time of the 2009 attack.

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5:32 a.m.

A federal appeals court is set to hear a second round of arguments in the case of a former Russian military officer who received a life sentence for leading a 2009 Taliban attack on U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Lawyers for Irek Hamidullin say he should have been treated as a prisoner of war and shielded from prosecution. However, prosecutors say fighters aligned with the Taliban don't qualify for lawful-combatant status.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Hamidullin's appeal last December but later scheduled a second hearing after one of the judges announced he was stepping down to serve as Baltimore's city solicitor.

The court will hear additional arguments Tuesday.

During the first hearing, Hamidullin's lawyer argued that he's a soldier, not a criminal.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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