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Hicks supporters decry new US military commission rules

[JURIST] The father and military lawyer of Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] spoke out against new US military commission rules [manual, PDF; JURIST report] Thursday, insisting that the regulations are even more unfair for defendants than those which applied under the original commission system which the US Supreme Court struck down [JURIST report] last June. Hicks lawyer Major Michael Mori [Wikipedia profile] told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) that the old system allowed military defense lawyers to see all classified evidence even though defendant could not; the new system, however, only allows for summaries of the classified intelligence to be released to defense teams. The new rules also allow convictions based on hearsay and coerced evidence [JURIST report], while Mori said that the right to a speedy trial, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to confront an accuser have all been removed.

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. In a radio interview [transcript] Thursday with the Australian Broadcasting Corp, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer [official website] repeated an American commitment that new charges could be expected in the next few weeks. AAP has more.

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