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US military lawyer for Australian terror suspect calls for abuse probe

[JURIST] The US military lawyer representing Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [BBC profile; advocacy website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday requested an independent investigation into Hicks' allegations of abuse at the hands of prison officials. Hicks, who was apprehended in Afghanistan in December 2001, alleged that he suffered sexual and physical abuse by US interrogators. Hick’s lawyer, Marine Major Michael Mori [Ninemsn profile], called for Australia to perform an independent investigation. The Australian government has already said it will look into the claims [JURIST report]. In July, the US released the findings of its own probe, undertaken at the request of the Australian government [JURIST report], that uncovered no evidence of abuse [JURIST report]. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer [official profile] has questioned the allegations saying that he “believe[s] that the Americans, when they conduct an investigation would do it appropriately.” Hicks, who has pleaded innocent to charges of conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy, is scheduled to face a pretrial military commission hearing [JURIST report] on November 18. AP has more.

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