Jul 24, 2012

Commonwealth drops Hicks action, damns plea deal

The Commonwealth's decision to abandon the pursuit of David Hicks for the proceeds of his book raises more questions about his treatment.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution’s decision to abandon its legal action under the Proceeds of Crime Act against David Hicks for the proceeds of his book has raised fundamental questions about the plea deal he agreed to and his treatment during his incarceration at Guantanamo Bay.

In a remarkable statement released a short time ago, the CDPP in effect declared it could not rely on evidence from the military commission that convicted Hicks following his plea agreement in 2007, or Hicks’s admissions to the commission, and on that basis, “this office was not in a position to discharge the onus placed upon it to satisfy the court that the admissions should be relied upon and decided that these proceedings should not continue”.

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44 thoughts on “Commonwealth drops Hicks action, damns plea deal

  1. Oscar Jones

    What will the IPA have to say?. I argued back and forth about Hicls with one of their right wing pundits who regularly gets a gig on The Drum & in News Ltd outlets.

  2. Steve777

    I am not a fan of David Hicks nor of his choice to undergo military training with the Taliban. But what he did, while it would be illegal now, at the time broke no Australian law. He was found guilty by a dodgy military commission almost certainly using evidence obtained under duress. That certainly should not regarded as being found guilty of criminals acts by a properly constituted court of law. If the American military had evidence that he committed crimes, they should have charged him using proper due process, otherwise they should have treated him as a prisoner of war. And when it became clear that neither was going to happen, the Australian Government should have insisted on his repatriation, as did the United Kingdom for its subjects imprisoned in Guantanamo.

    The dropping of the case is the right result, although it may have been good to have had a chance to see the issues brought before a proper court.

  3. ConnorJ

    @ Oscar Jones – let me guess, those paragons of free markets and free speech over at the IPA supported the government in denying Hicks’s right to publish his story for profit?

  4. shepherdmarilyn

    Hicks broke no law in any country ever, the persecution and abuse of his human rights by Howard and then Roxon is disgusting.

    Might silence those pathetic old fools Gerard Henderson and Neil James.

  5. Mack the Knife

    The Ninemsm has a fairly sanitised version in their reporting that fails to go into much detail of why the prosecutors dropped the case other than insufficient strength of the evidence.

    I wonder if Hicks can sue Ruddock, Howeird, et al that slandered him?

  6. Liz45

    Well done! A good job ‘jobbed’? What happened to David Hicks was a damned disgrace. Initially, it took the US 2 1/2 years to lay charges, then they removed them, but continued to detain him for over 5 years altogether. What a travesty. The US ‘duchessed’ the Taliban during the Clinton years, and the Bush administration continued in that manner. There was no concern about the treatment of women and other civilians. Like now, the US and its allies are closed mouthed about the role of the war lords etc in Afghanistan, unless they have no choice but to make a comment – like recently, when the woman was executed in public. The Taliban are represented in the Karzai govt, but not a word of this to the coalition countries. And they made David Hicks out to be an evil monster????

    The US released Mamdouh Habib without charge; they didn’t want him to squeal either, but he has. The Howard Govt particularly all relevant Ministers and others are to be condemned for their treatment of not only these two men, but many others? So much for the US’s nauseating claims of democracy, justice and the rule of law! If only they practiced what they preached – Australia too! Shameful!

    Good on you David!

  7. Oscar Jones

    An IPA fellow called attendees at the 2011 Sydney Writers Festival “incredulous fools” in the SMH for listening to David Hicks describe his Gitmo days.

    That fellow is now an adviser to Tony Abbott. That’s the same Abbott who was part of the Howard ministry that completely over-looked the AWB kickbacks to the Saddam regime.

  8. CML

    This is about the first decent thing that has happened to this man.

    @ MACK THE KNIFE – Would Hicks have had a better chance to successfully sue those coalition members if this case had been allowed to proceed, his evidence had become public knowledge and he was able to establish that he did not break any laws? Just asking.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    CML. he can sue, we know he broke no laws.

  10. shepherdmarilyn

    It is though another kick in the teeth for Brandis who pushed and shoved the AFP into this through senate estimates and an abuse of process.

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