Hicks par­don bid

Guan­tanamo in­mate may sue for dam­ages


DAVID Hicks will seek to clear his name af­ter a US court threw out the of­fence he pleaded guilty to five years ago.

Mr Hicks has also in­di­cated he will sue the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment for dam­ages for the six years he spent in Guan­tanamo Bay in Cuba.

His fam­ily and le­gal team are also de­mand­ing an in­quiry into his case un­der the dis- cred­ited Amer­i­can Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion sys­tem.

Ac­cord­ing to his fa­ther, Terry, the for­mer Ade­laide man who now lives in Sydney, wants jus­tice in a prop­erly con­sti­tuted court of law.

Mr Hicks Sr said he was not sur­prised his son was pre­par­ing to sue the Gov­ern­ment.

‘‘This has been go­ing on for 12 years, that is a big chunk of a man’s life,’’ he said.

‘‘There have been so many cover-ups and so many lies and we have never had a chance to test them in a proper court of law.’’

The US Court of Ap­peals found the con­vic­tion of Osama bin Laden’s for­mer driver Salim Hamdan was in­valid be­cause un­der the in­ter­na­tional law of war at the time there was no such crime as ‘‘pro­vid­ing ma­te­rial sup­port for ter­ror­ism’’.

The law used against Mr Hicks was cre­ated in 2006, five years af­ter he was de­tained in Afghanistan, and was used to ret­ro­spec­tively con­vict him af­ter he pleaded guilty un­der a plea bar­gain that al­lowed him to re­turn home to Ade­laide in 2007.

Mr Hicks has ap­pointed his for­mer Ade­laide-based lawyer Stephen Kenny to ap­ply to the US Court to over­turn his con­vic­tion.

Mr Kenny said he would brief US lawyers within days and would then turn his at­ten­tion to the role of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment.

‘‘Did they de­lay, what role did they play?’’ he said. ‘‘This has never been as­sessed and we re­quire a full in­quiry.’’

Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard said it was up to Mr Hicks what ac­tion he would take, but said he was not con­victed un­der Aus­tralian law.

Terry Hicks

David Hicks

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