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Australia still backing US military tribunals after e-mail controversy

[JURIST] Despite newly-uncovered e-mails [JURIST report] from former US military prosecutors that characterize the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay as "rigged" and "a fraud", the Australian government is still backing a military trial for detained Australian David Hicks [JURIST news archive]. Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] said Tuesday that he was told that the e-mails had already been investigated by the Pentagon [JURIST report], and that Hicks could not be tried in Australia anyway because his alleged crimes do not fall under its criminal laws. Hicks, a native Australian, was captured in Afghanistan while allegedly fighting for the Taliban. The Australian government originally endorsed military tribunals after they were approved [JURIST report] by a US appeals court last month, but the Law Council of Australia [official website] and advocacy groups [Hicks advocacy website] have pushed for a civilian trial, especially after the e-mails came to light. Hicks' military lawyer and Australia's top military lawyer [Australian report] have also expressed grave reservations about the process. AFP has more.

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