NEW YORK - The war crimes case against Salim Ahmed Hamdan, Osma bin Laden's driver, went to the military jury in Guantanamo Bay, with defence lawyers urging acquittal to restore the world's faith in U.S. respect for the rule of law, according to media reports. In closing arguments, a defence attorney, Navy Lt. Commander Brian Mizer, made a surprising disclosure, suggesting that Hamdan had offered to help U.S. forces in a significant way but that "we squandered that opportunity, The Los Angeles Times reported. Mizer said he was referring to secret testimony given Thursday by Army Special Forces Col. Morgan Banks, who encountered Hamdan shortly after his Nov. 24, 2001, capture at a roadblock in Afghanistan. The military judge, Navy Captain Keith J. Allred, warned Mizer not to stray into classified territory, but the lawyer was allowed to remind jurors to "look at the information Mr. Hamdan provided to the United States when it mattered most," according to the dispatch. "You know what Mr. Hamdan had agreed to do and you know how we squandered that opportunity," Mizer told the court, stirring speculation that the defendant, who was Osama bin Laden's driver, might have offered to lead U.S. forces to an al Qaeda hide-out. At the time Hamdan was in U.S. custody at Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda hierarchy were thought to be holed up in the remote mountain area of Tora Bora on the Afghan-Pakistani border. Prosecutor John Murphy of the Justice Department urged the military jury to disregard defence claims that Hamdan's cooperation with his captors should have any bearing on their verdict. Hamdan knew he was working for a terrorist organization and stayed in Bin Laden's employ despite Al Qaeda's targeting of U.S. troops and civilians, Murphy said. The prosecutor detailed allegations that Hamdan delivered weapons to al Qaeda and Taliban forces, shuttled bin Laden and other top plotters around their bases and training camps, and was trusted with guns and radios in the al Qaeda leader's presence, suggesting he was more than a $200-a-month hired hand. "The leader of al Qaeda himself hosted a wedding feast for the accused. This shows just how close he was to the very top of this terrorist conspiracy," Murphy said. "This was textbook, classic, model behavior for material support," the prosecutor said in his hourlong closing, calling on the jury to convict on all 10 counts of conspiracy and material support to terrorism. Mizer told the jury that Hamdan didn't even know where bin Laden was to be driven most of the time, never mind any terrorism plotting. "Not one witness said he had any role in the terrorist attacks themselves," Mizer said. He noted that the government has about 270 prisoners here, including hard-core Al Qaeda warriors, who could have been called to testify against Hamdan but weren't. Joseph McMillan, a civilian lawyer representing Hamdan, asked the jury to be guided by "the values that define who we are," to demonstrate to a skeptical world that U.S. courts respect the rule of law, not concepts like guilt by association.