Thursday, August 26, 2004

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*Ø* No USA justice for Aussie hicks

[Whenever you see the image above, you can click for updates on Australians being denied natural justice by the Bush Administration.]

"ELEANOR HALL: Today, after three years of detention at Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held by the United States as an enemy combatant, Australian David Hicks finally faced the military commission which will try him on charges including conspiracy and attempted murder.

"Having spent the majority of the last three years in solitary confinement, Hicks was put in the now unfamiliar position of confronting a large group of people when he appeared unshackled and wearing civilian clothes to plead not guilty to all charges.

"David Hicks was also allowed to see his father, Terry, for the first time in five years.

"The ABC's North America Correspondent, Leigh Sales, was in the courtroom at Guantanamo Bay for today's hearing.

"LEIGH SALES: Many of the observers made two comments after today's court hearing. The first was how totally composed and inscrutable David Hicks was. The Adelaide man showed no reaction at all to proceedings, nor did he attempt to make eye contact with his family, except for one occasion when he first walked in.

"The second observation was how impressive the lead defence counsel, Josh Dratel, was. Mr Dratel is a New York based civilian lawyer who works alongside Steve Kenny and Major Michael Mori on the Hicks case ...

"Outside, Major Mori repeated his assertion that the military commission process will not deliver a fair trial.

"MICHAEL MORI: The process, I don't think, myself, Josh, Steve or any of us, have ever hidden from David that he is facing an unfair system that has been resurrected from the 1940s and he's been thrust into it and his life and freedom is being put in jeopardy.

"It's being placed in a system that the United States would not tolerate for its citizens, that Britain will not tolerate for its citizens. And I can't understand why David Hicks' life has to be placed in this position. I think we've never hidden that from him and he knows it ...

"LEX LASRY: My main concern, or my main area of surprise is this combination of judge and jury in the panel, the way that process… how that process will practically work seems to me to be a bit of a mystery. But I haven't seen it functioning so it's perhaps a bit early to tell.

"LEIGH SALES: David Hicks is back in his orange jumpsuit in solitary confinement in Camp Echo tonight, his flash charcoal suit in mothballs until his next appearance before the Commission in November. His full trial will start on the 10th of January next year.

"This is Leigh Sales in Guantanamo Bay for The World Today."

Fair Go for David
Charge John Howard website
Aussie activist harrassed in USA by FBI


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