Australia foreign minister denies interference with Hicks plea bargain Michael Sung at 9:33 AM ET
[JURIST] Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer [official profile] Tuesday denied allegations that the Australian government was involved in negotiating the plea bargain [JURIST report] of former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive], refuting a report [text] in Harper's Magazine that the plea was the result of a secret deal with US Vice President Dick Cheney. Downer said that the Australian government "promoted" the plea bargain, but did not participate in the negotiations between military prosecutors and Hicks' defense team. The Harper's Magazine report quotes a military officer saying that Cheney intervened in the Hicks' negotiations "apparently" in line with an arrangement made with Australian Prime Minister John Howard.
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