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Hicks military lawyer doubts fair trial before Guantanamo tribunal

[JURIST] The US military lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] said Saturday that Hicks would spend years in court and could not get a fair trial before a US military commission. In remarks at a rally in Adelaide, US Marine Corps Maj. Michael Mori [Wikipedia profile] noted that the revised military commissions system [JURIST news archive] could not be used to try American citizens and questioned how such a system could then be fair enough for foreign citizens. Mori said that he believed the military tribunals were designed to deliver guilty verdicts and asserted that even if a decision on Hicks' guilt or innocence comes relatively quickly, it would likely take two or more years before an appeal from Hicks or another detainee made it to the US Supreme Court.

Hicks is one of three high profile Guantanamo prisoners facing new charges [JURIST report] announced by the US earlier this month. The original charges against Hicks, Canadian Omar Khadr and Yemeni Salim Hamdan [Trial Watch profiles] and other detainees had to be dropped after the US Supreme Court ruled the original military commissions system was unconstitutional as initially established by presidential order [JURIST report]. Hicks was picked up in Afghanistan in 2001 while allegedly fighting for the Taliban. US prosecutors claim that he trained at up to four terrorist camps. The charges against him must still be formally approved, but US Vice President Dick Cheney has said that Hicks will be among the first to be tried [transcript; ABC Australia report] after the DOD's convening authority makes a determination whether a military commission should be convened to consider the charges. AAP has more.

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