- CCR Guantanamo Case to be Reviewed by Supreme Court
- Families of Guantanamo Bay prisoners launch US Supreme Court appeal
- Australian and British governments claim military trials will be fair
- US delays trying Australians
- No return for David Hicks
- Hicks' Trial Will Not Be Justice As We Know It
- Hicks may 'never escape'. - news.com.au
- Hicks will get fair trial: PM
- Hicks may face death sentence
- Legal action explored to free Hicks
- David Hicks Legal Limbo in breach of Human Rights Conventions
- Camp X-ray inmates in legal no-man's land
- Hicks's father hopes petition will force action
ADJOURNMENT: Military Detention:
Speech to Paliament - Senator Linda Kirk - ALP
news.com.au - 04 July 03
SUSPECTED Australian terrorist David Hicks would get a fair trial in the United States, Prime Minister John Howard said today.
It was confirmed today that Hicks, who was captured in Afghanistan and has been in detention at the US base in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for almost 20 months, was one of six detainees eligible for trial by military tribunal.
Mr Howard said the issue was in the hands of the US and he had faith in their system of justice.
"I am satisfied on the information that I have, if any Australians are tried in the United States, the basic conditions of the presumption of innocence, access to a lawyer and so forth, all of the things that are basic to the judicial system as we understand it will be applied," he said in south-west Queensland.
Hicks has been detained without charge at the Guantanamo Bay camp since being captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 fighting for the Taliban.
Hicks, from Adelaide, and another Australian, Mamdouh Habib from Sydney, are among more than 600 other detainees from around the world being held in US custody in Cuba.
Federal Attorney-General Daryl Williams said Mr Hicks had not been charged "at this time".
The lawyer for terrorist suspect David Hicks said he was exploring legal action against the federal government to bring the 27-year-old back to Australia.
Hicks, from Adelaide, has been held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, without trial or access to legal help, since he was captured while allegedly fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in late 2001.
Adelaide lawyer Stephen Kenny singled out Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer and said he had neglected his duty to ensure Australians overseas received proper and adequate diplomatic assistance.
"If we find there is a cause of action against the foreign minister that is a valid cause of action, then, yes, we would (pursue it)," Mr Kenny told reporters.
"We can issue court proceedings and pursue this matter as publicly as we possibly can."
The New York Times reported the United States had asked Australia to take back Hicks, but the government was reluctant to do so because Hicks had not violated any Australian law and would have to be released on his return.
Prime Minister John Howard did not discuss Hicks' plight with US president George W Bush saying Attorney-General Daryl Williams was handling the case.
But a spokeswoman for Mr Williams said there had been no request by the Americans to take Hicks back and the case was a matter for ongoing discussion with his US counterpart.
"As far as we are concerned, the United States is still actively considering its options in relation to prosecution," the spokeswoman said.
"As far as we are aware, the United States is still considering its position in relation to the potential prosecution of Mr Hicks and the circumstances have not changed."
Hicks, along with Sydney man Mamdouh Habib, were being held in US custody with 619 other detainees from around the world for security, intelligence and law enforcement purposes, the spokeswoman said.
Mr Kenny said he would write to the Australian government to verify the report.
He said the New York Times told him the report had come from "Australian government officials at the highest level" and he had no reason to doubt it.
Mr Kenny said the report showed the government knew Hicks had not committed any offences under Australian law.
"Australian Federal Police and ASIO have been investigating Mr Hicks
now for at least some 478 days, they have interviewed him or interrogated
him on three occasions for a total of ... at least six days," he said.
Senator Linda Kirk
Labor Senator for South Australia
Monday, 17 March 2003
South Australian Labor Senator Linda Kirk will present a petition in Parliament
tomorrow signed by 1600 South Australians, who believe that the Howard Government
has let down Australian citizen David Hicks by allowing him to remain in
a military jail cell with no access to the basic rights afforded to any
person held in custody.
David Hicks has been detained at Guantanamo Bay US military base in Cuba without charge for over a year.
Senator Kirk said that Guilty or not, David Hicks cannot be kept
in indefinite detention without charge. To do so is a fundamental breach
of human rights.
The Howard Government is apparently allowing Hicks to remain in legal limbo with no access to a lawyer and no consular access the only Australian contact he has had has been the AFP and ASIO. All people, even if they are terrorists, deserve to have prompt access and assistance of a lawyer.
The Labor Party has been pushing for the Australian Government to take action on the issue of David Hicks for more than a year. However the Government has defiantly and stubbornly failed to act.
Senator Linda Kirk 8237 7140
Camp X-ray inmates in legal no-man's land Australian March 13, 2003
THERE is no immediate prospect of the two Australians being held at Camp X-Ray on Guantanamo Bay being charged or released after the full bench of the US Federal Court ruled yesterday they had no recourse to American courts.
Three judges dismissed an appeal by lawyers for Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, two Britons and 12 Kuwaitis on the grounds that they were beyond American jurisdiction being held at the US naval base leased from the Cuban Government.
Mr. Hicks and Mr. Habib have been held at the US naval base - for 15 months and almost 11 months respectively - as "illegal combatants" m the war on terrorism without charge and without access to consular assistance, lawyers or their families.
In contrast, American John Walker Lindh, detained in Afghanistan at the same time as Mr. Hicks, faced court in the US and was sentenced in September to 20 years in a jail near his family.
Mr. Hicks's lawyer, Stephen Kenny, said an appeal would be made to the US Supreme Court.
"Mr Walker Lindh was provided access to the US legal system ... he had a chance to defend himself, and David Hicks has had none of that and the Australian Government make no protest," Mr. Kenny said.
David's father, Terry Hicks, said there was no indication the Australian Government would intervene.
He was not told until January that officials had visited his son in November, the same month he received his last letter from David.
But he was circumspect about the court case, saying it was expected it would go to the Supreme Court.
Hicks's father hopes petition will force action for extradition.
ABC Online This is the print
version of story
The father of a South Australian man being held in a United States military prison in Cuba is hoping a petition will help pressure the Federal Goverrunent into pushing for his son's extradition to Australia.
Alleged Taliban fighter David Hicks has been imprisoned in Cuba for the past 15 months.
His father Terry Hicks says no charges have been laid against son and Prime Minister John Howard has refused to intervene.
Mr Hicks says the petition with more than 2,000 signatures will be presented to the Senate later this week and will hopefully spur some politicians into action.
"Someone... someone eventually's got to start thinkinghey, what's going on - this is an Australian citizen', ... well, we're supposed to be [a] democratic country... let's do something about it," Mr Hicks said.
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