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.