Lawyers look to speed Hicks' return

Lawyers for David Hicks, the Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate, have begun proceedings to formalise his confession to charges of supporting a terrorist group.

Lawyers look to speed Hicks' return

Lawyers for David Hicks, the Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate, have begunproceedings to formalise his confession to charges of supporting a terroristgroup.

The process is expected to speed his return home under a dealbetween the Australian and US governments that will allow him to serve any jailsentence in an Australian prison.

 

 

On Monday Hicks pleaded guilty to one charge of supportingal-Qaeda and the Taliban during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in2001.

He has been held without trial at the US base in Cuba for the past five years and isthe first detainee to appear before revised military tribunals at the camp.

 

 

'Voluntary plea'

The defense and prosecution were expected to discuss detailsof Hicks' guilty plea on Tuesday before presenting it to the military judge fora decision later this week, Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman, toldreporters.

"Under commission rules the military judge must besatisfied that Hicks' guilty plea is voluntary and otherwise lawful,"Whitman said.

Hicks father, Terry, meanwhile has told US media hebelieves his son struck a bargain with prosecutors to get out of Guantanamo.

"It's a way to get home, and he's told us he just wantsto get home," said Terry.

Last October, George Bush, the US president, made law a newmilitary tribunal after the supreme court ruled the previous commissionunconstitutional.

Fresh challenge

The new system is also being challenged by lawyers for Guantanamo detainees whoare asking the court to intervene and guarantee their clients' right tochallenge their confinement in civilian courts.

Critics have said Monday's guilty plea reflects Hicks'despair at his prospects for obtaining a fair trial from the Guantanamo militarytribunal.

"He and his attorneys knew he could not receive a fairtrial, so Hicks pleaded guilty," said Marine Lieutenant Colonel ColbyVokey, the lawyer for Omar Khadr, a Canadian Guantanamo detainee who isexpected to face charges before the commission.

Hicks, 31, has denied a second charge of supportingterrorism by allegedly attending training in Afghanistan and reporting to anal-Qaeda commander after the World Trade Centre attacks in September 2001.

Source:Agencies 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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