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David Hicks

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The Australian, David Hicks, was held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for over five years by the United States of America's military. A Muslim, he was originally charged with "conspiracy, attempted murder by an unprivileged belligerent and aiding the enemy." [1] but these charges were dropped "after the US Supreme Court ruled the original military commissions system established by President Bush unconstitutional without Congressiona authorization." [2]

Hicks was later charged with "providing material support of terrorism" and "attempted murder in violation of the law of war" - the latter charge was also dropped. [3] [4] On March 26, 2007 David Hicks pleaded guilty to the one remaining charge. "A prisoner exchange agreement between Australia and the US means Hicks will be allowed to serve out any remaining prison time in Australia, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said today."[5] News reports after the trial stated that "Hicks has pleaded guilty to only one of two counts under the charge. It says that, in Afghanistan during 2000 and 2001, he provided material support for al-Qaeda, which was engaged in terrorism against the US. He pleaded not guilty to a second count that said he provided material support or resources "to be used in preparation for, or in carrying out, an act of terrorism". [6]

Hicks was sentenced to another seven years in prison by the Military Commission panel but a pre-trial plea bargain drastically cut that sentence. He was due to spend the last seven months of his sentence in an Australian prison, Yatala Labour Prison. Hicks arrived back in Australia on May 20, 2007. He was due for release from prison in Adelaide, South Australia, in late December, 2007.[7] He was not permitted, under the terms of his plea bargain, to speak with any media for twelve months. [8]

References

  1. Hicks' original charge sheet
  2. Some background on the charge process
  3. The Hicks Charge Sheet
  4. Hicks 'knew fight was wrong'
  5. Hicks 'home this year'
  6. Short Jail Term Tipped For Hicks
  7. Elated to be in solitary confinement
  8. Hicks Will Be Free By New Year
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