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Hicks to serve terror sentence in Australia if convicted

[JURIST] Australian-born terror suspect David Hicks [JURIST news archive] will serve his prison sentence in Australia if convicted by a US military commission [JURIST news archive] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Australian Justice Minister Chris Ellison [official profile] said Thursday. Hicks, captured in Afghanistan by US forces in 2001 with suspected ties to the Taliban, is one of ten charged Guantanamo Bay detainees awaiting trial by a military commission in Guantanamo. The ten trials have been postponed pending a US Supreme Court [official website] decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST news archive] challenging the legality of the military commissions.

The Australian and US governments brokered a deal [JURIST report] in May to transfer prisoners sentenced by the military commissions pending approval by both governments. Hicks successfully petitioned for British citizenship [JURIST report] because his mother is a British citizen in an effort to have the UK government lobby for his release, as it had done with all other British detainees at Guantanamo. The UK Foreign Office [official website] announced earlier this week, however, that it will not lobby for Hicks' release [JURIST report] because he was traveling under an Australian passport when he was detained in 2001. Reuters has more.

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