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Hicks applies for transfer to Australia prison

[JURIST] Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] has submitted an application to be transferred to a prison near his home in South Australia to serve the remainder of his nine-month sentence [JURIST report] after pleading guilty [JURIST report] to a charge of supporting terrorism [JURIST report] last week. South Australia's Correctional Services Minister Carmel Zollo [official profile] said she was told about the application on Monday and will consider it under the International Transfer of Prisoners Act [text] when all paperwork has been received. The Australian government is awaiting formal documentation from US authorities to move Hicks from the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Once this information is received, the 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].

Meanwhile, South Australian Premier Mike Rann [official profile] has been accused of hypocrisy by Australian Democrats for saying he wants an assurance from the federal government that the state will be safe when Hicks is finally released. Rann is being criticized because his South Australian Labor Party [party website] has been pressing for Hicks' return for the past five years and now that the process is moving forward, he is expressing concern over the issue. Australia's ABC News has more.

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