Wednesday, October 17, 2012

David Hicks demands investigation

Former Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks has demanded a full investigation into his jailing after a landmark US court decision, as lawyers said his conviction should be quashed.

Hicks was returned to Australia in April 2007 following a plea deal that saw him serve a nine-month sentence at home for providing material support for terrorism after nearly six years in Guantanamo.

But his conviction was cast into doubt after the US Court of Appeals ruled that material support for terrorism was not a war crime, and could not in any case be applied to Hicks because the relevant law was passed only in 2006.

The ruling was made as the Washington appeals court threw out the conviction of Osama bin Laden's former driver Salim Hamdan -- also once jailed at Guantanamo -- on the same charge.

"We have always said the conviction was doubtful and shouldn't stand," Hicks said.

"I want a full investigation. The Australian government knew for years that the system was not fair, but it put me up before it anyway."

Mike Mori, who represented Hicks at his Guantanamo Bay hearings, said the court decision meant his conviction was unlawful, although the US government is reviewing the ruling and could still appeal.

"It (the charge of material support for terrorism) is null and void for conduct prior to 2006," he told ABC television.

"The foundation is rotten and the house is starting to crumble."

Mori said it was now up to Hicks's current lawyers to decide if they would formally seek to have his conviction overturned.

"I think it would be great for some official recognition that what he was put through was not fair and was not just," he said.

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