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Australia MPs writing top US lawmakers to press fair trial for Hicks

[JURIST] Australian MPs concerned about new US military commission rules [manual, PDF; JURIST report] plan to write to US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi next week to ask them to ensure Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] gets a fair trial in the US or to return him to Australia to face trial there. Hicks supporters have already spoken out against [JURIST report] the new rules issued by the US Defense Department Thursday which allow convictions based on hearsay and coerced evidence, although they do address the right to a speedy trial (Rule 707, pp. II-57 - II-60), the right against self incrimination (Rule 301, p. III-5), and the right to confront an accuser (Rule 909, sub.c(3), p. II-95) [Editor's note: an earlier version of this story erroneously reported that mention of the latter rights had been altogether omitted from the Manual. JURIST regrets the mistake.].

Hicks has been in American custody for 5 years, after being picked up in Afghanistan while allegedly fighting for the Taliban. His original charges [text, PDF; JURIST report], which were brought in 2004, have lapsed. The Sydney Morning Herald has more.

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