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Legal appeal by ex-Guantanamo detainee David Hicks over war crime charge


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Legal appeal by ex-Guantanamo detainee David Hicks over war crime charge

He became known as the ‘Aussie Taliban’ and spent five years in Guantanamo prison. Now David Hicks, who has written about his experiences, is mounting a challenge to the US Court of Military Commission Review to his conviction in 2007.

He pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism as part of a deal which saw him repatriated and later freed.

His lawyers contend that a ruling in another case that struck down similar charges should be applied to Hicks.

“There are two points of importance within this appeal. The first is that I was detained for an inexcusable five and a half years, or six years including here in Australia as well, without my having committed an offence. And secondly that I was tortured throughout that period. This included physical beatings,a number of psychological methods and medical experimentation,” he said.

Stephen Kenny, Hicks’ lawyer explained: “The charge of providing material support for terrorism simply does not exist in international law. We’ve known all along that that is the case but it was part of the deal that David had to do to get out of Guantanamo Bay.”

Hicks was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 and admitted he trained at paramilitary camps but saw no evidence of terrorism activity.

A Pentagon spokesman said the Australian had waived his right to appeal as part of the plea deal.

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