The situation with Mr Hicks is that charges have been laid. They’re very serious charges. The Government’s position is that they ought to be brought on for hearing as soon as possible and he should be given the opportunity to answer those charges. Evidence should be led against him. That cannot be done in Australia.

The charges include the fact that he armed himself and prepared himself to kill coalition soldiers – could easily have been Australian soldiers – that he was there as a devotee of al-Qaeda, that he’d been through a terrorist training camp with al-Qaeda, and the Government’s position is that those charges should be heard…

… I actually think the case itself is pretty straightforward. There he was in Afghanistan. He wasn’t on a backpacker tour. There he was … he’d undergone training, and provided you’ve got witnesses, and I don’t even know that he denies it, that can give evidence that, yes, he was training with al-Qaeda, yes, he was there in Afghanistan, no, he didn’t have the Backpackers’ Guide to the Galaxy with him, I think it’s a pretty straightforward case …

… I think it’s fair that the evidence be led against him.

As recounted yesterday to Paul Bongiorno on Channel Ten’s Meet the Press.

Peter Fray

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