Australia 'cannot gag Hicks'

Australia will not stop Guantanamo detainee David Hicks from talking to the media despite a gag order that is part of the plea deal that secured his release, the attorney-general has said.

Australia 'cannot gag Hicks'

Australia will not stop Guantanamo detainee David Hicks from talkingto the media despite a gag order that is part of the plea deal that secured hisrelease, the attorney-general has said.

PhilipRuddock said the government would not enforce the US-imposed gag on Hicksbecause if he did speak out he would not be breaking Australian law.

 

 

Hick's wasconvicted last week by a USmilitary tribunal last week of providing material support for terrorism.

His US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, had saidhis client could be sent back to Guantanamoif he talked to reporters.

 

 

ButRuddock said the Australian government would not legally be able to extradite Hicks back to the USif he spoke to the media.

"In Australia, wehave a position about freedom of speech," Ruddock told ABC television lateon Tuesday.

"I'llleave it to your imagination as to a way in which somebody seeking extraditionin relation to a party for breaching a so-called gag order would be able to bedelivered up through the judicial processes in Australia."

Asked ifnothing would happen if Hicks spoke to the media, Ruddock said: "I suspectyou are probably right."

He saidthe USwould be able to enforce that part of the plea bargain only if Hicks was"within their reach", but added that Hicks may breach Australian lawif he tries to benefit financially by selling his story.

Hicksagreed to the plea bargain condition of not speaking to the media for a year orfrom alleging mistreatment while he was in Guantanamo.

He isscheduled to be returned home within days to serve nine months in an Adelaide prison.

But Morisaid Hicks, who spent five years in Guantanamowithout charge after being captured in Afghanistanin 2001, could be forced to serve the remainder of a seven-year suspendedsentence in the USif he violated the provisions of the plea deal.

"Hecould potentially be brought back to Guantanamoto serve it," he said.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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