[JURIST] The lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive; AI profile] is pushing the Australian government to ask the US for Hicks' return by Christmas, allowing him to be kept under a control order authorized by last year's anti-terror legislation [official backgrounder]. David McLeod, Hicks' lawyer in Adelaide, emphasized that Hicks has already served five years in a maximum-security prison without having been convicted. Speaking to a gathering of 80 people in front of the Adelaide Parliament House, McLeod said that a compromise was necessary to prevent Hicks from "rotting" in Guantanamo indefinitely.
In August, Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official profile] announced that the government would push for Hicks' return [JURIST report] if the United States did not pursue new charges against him and convene a military tribunal by November. Hicks was captured in Afghanistan in 2001, where he allegedly fought with the Taliban, and has been charged [PDF charge sheet] with conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy. McLeod repeated other Australian lawyers' observations [JURIST report] that Hicks' mental and physical condition is declining after months of solitary confinement and sleep deprivation. Australia's ABC News has more. The Sydney Morning Herald has additional coverage.