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UK will not ask US to release Guantanamo detainee Hicks

[JURIST] The UK Foreign Office [official website] has said that the United Kingdom will not petition the US to release Australian national David Hicks [JURIST news archive; advocacy website] from the US prison at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Hicks, a suspected member of the Taliban who has been detained for over four years, won British citizenship [JURIST report] earlier this year based on his mother's nationality and had hoped to gain assistance from the British government in securing his release. Nine other British detainees were freed - the last four in early 2005 [JURIST report] - when the UK protested their imprisonments by arguing that military commissions [JURIST news archive] are illegal. But Hicks will not receive the same type of aid from the British government, which says he was an Australian citizen at the time of his capture and that Australia has provided previous consular assistance to him.

Hicks has been charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit war crimes. His trial has been postponed pending a US Supreme Court [official website] decision on the legality of military commissions [JURIST report], which is expected to be handed down before the end of June. From Australia, ABC News has local coverage.

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