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Guantanamo military commission judge says maximum Hicks sentence 7 years

[JURIST] The judge presiding over the military commission [JURIST news archive] for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] said Friday that Hicks would be be subject to a maximum seven-year prison sentence under the terms of his plea bargain. The judge's comments came the day after the chief prosecutor in the case, USAF Col. Morris Davis [official profile, PDF], said that that he was planning to ask for a sentence "substantially less" than 20 years [AP report]. Hicks was due in court Friday to enter his guilty plea [JURIST report] under oath, which requires him to confess to specific instances of providing support for al Qaeda. He is expected to serve his sentence in Australia [JURIST report].

Davis had indicated earlier that he planned to seek a sentence of 20 years for Hicks, and would possibly consider the five years Hicks has already been detained as time served toward the total sentence. Hicks pleaded guilty Monday to a charge [JURIST report] of supporting terrorism following the unexpected disqualification of two of his three lawyers. Australian Greens leader Bob Brown [personal website] compared the military commission process to show trials conducted in the former Soviet Union [press release]. Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] has said that the tribunal was "fundamentally flawed" [press release]. Hicks is the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried [JURIST report] under the new Military Commissions Act [text, PDF]. AP has more.

11:28 AM ET - AP is reporting that the military judge has now formally convicted Hicks of providing material support for terrorism.

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