July 4, 2006

Guantanamo inmate’s lawyers want Australian review

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Lawyers for Australian Guantanamo Bay
inmate David Hicks asked the Australian government on Tuesday
to formally review his case after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled
planned military trials were illegal.

Hicks' lawyer David McLeod made his plea during a meeting
lasting almost an hour with Australian Foreign Minister
Alexander Downer, saying that Hicks was now being detained
without charge as a result of the U.S. court's decision.

Downer said the United States was considering how to
proceed following last Thursday's ruling, but Australia still
wanted Hicks to face a civilian trial or military court martial
in the United States.

"We want those people in Guantanamo Bay, who have had
charges brought against them, we want them to face justice,"
Downer told reporters in Adelaide.

Hicks, who has been in detention in Guantanamo Bay for
four-and-a-half years, had pleaded not guilty to attempted
murder, aiding the enemy and conspiracy, and was one of the
first detainees scheduled to face a military trial.

McLeod said he had asked Downer to seek Hicks' release.

"I indicated to him that in my opinion the charges were no
longer in existence and that David Hicks was now simply a
detainee," McLeod told reporters.

Australia had supported the U.S. military commission trials
and did not seek Hicks' release because he could not have been
charged in Australia. But Australia said Hicks could serve his
prison sentence at home if he is convicted.