1 May 2008


It was only the mounting level of public criticism and protest that resulted in the release of David Hicks according to his lawyer David McLeod when commenting on the recent admissions the former chief prosecutor in the case, Colonel Moe Davis.

Testifying in a pre-trial hearing of another Guantanamo Bay detainee, Colonel Davis stated the military commissions were tainted by political influence and evidence obtained through prisoner abuse.

He also said that he would not have pursued Hicks because the case against the Australian was not serious enough but he was pressured to do so.

After spending more than five years imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, mostly in solitary confinement, Hicks was sentenced to seven years' jail with all but nine months suspended under a plea bargain which also secured his return to Australia to serve out the sentence.

He was released from South Australia's Yatala Prison last December.

These latest comments confirm the belief that David Hicks was used as a political pawn. The case is a reminder both of the constant vigilance that is required to safeguard Human Rights even in democracies like Australia, and the power that ordinary people have to effect change by demanding action from their political leaders.

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