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Australia AG says Hicks gag order cannot be enforced

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official profile] said Tuesday that the gag order placed on Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] as part of his plea agreement [text] cannot be enforced once he returns to Australia, and that Hicks could not be extradited if he were to violate the order. Lawyers for Hicks said that Hicks may have to serve the entirety of his sentence if he violates the gag order; however, Ruddock said Australia would not have the power to enforce the gag.

Hicks submitted an application Monday to be transferred to a prison near his home in South Australia to serve the remainder of his nine-month sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of supporting terrorism [JURIST reports] last week. The Australian government is awaiting formal documentation from US authorities to move Hicks from the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Once this information is received, the Australian federal government can approach the state government in South Australia to move the process forward, including assessing security requirements and a potential control order [JURIST report]. Australia's ABC News has more.

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