Thursday, February 08, 2007

Meanwhile, in a part of the world that is outside the law

The head of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre has described Australian detainee David Hicks as a dangerous terrorist.

Hicks, originally from Adelaide, is facing terrorism-related charges after five years' detention at the prison in Cuba.

Rear Admiral Harry Harris has told the ABC's PM program that Hicks is being kept in his cell for 22 hours a day because he, along with the other inmates, poses a real security threat.

He says Hicks has been a co-operative detainee but there are no innocent detainees.

"We are detaining enemy combatants here in Guantanamo," he said. "That's the right of any nation at war to do that and it's an internationally recognised right.

"There's no expectation that they be tried or charged, with exception of those that are alleged to have committed war crimes."

He has previously said he believes there are no innocent men being held at Guantanamo.
IF Australia wanted Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks home it would be possible but that is not the government's intention, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says.

The government is unwilling to bring Hicks home because he cannot be charged in Australia over his activities in Afghanistan.

US prosecutors recommended last week that Hicks face charges of attempted murder and providing material support for terrorism, but it could be several weeks before the draft charges are approved - and they could be changed during the approval process.


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