David Hicks may yet have his shameful – and now unlawful – US terrorism conviction overturned, reports Barry Everingham.
David Hicks might yet have his day in court, now that the Appeals Court in the United States has deemed that material support for terrorism was not an international-war crime before 2006.
The treatment this Australian citizen received at the hands of the hands of the Howard Government was nothing short of outrageous and it’s to be hoped Hicks can get compensation for the torture and humiliation he suffered while he was the plaything of U.S. Marines at George W. Bush the Lesser’s torturous Guantanamo Bay “correction facility”.
And it seems the Greens will seek to move that the Senate hold and full inquiry into the Hicks case, which his former US legal advisor Dan Mori says was “totally unfair”.
The iconic Australian business tycoon Dick Smith, who incidentally provided $60,000 for Hicks’ for legal defence, said he hoped the former prisoner would get his day in court.
Said Mr. Smith:
"I would love to see him have a day with some due process."
Dick Smith is not on his own in this respect.
The Queen was indirectly helpful as well!
I, along with many Australians, was absolutely appalled by the inaction of John Howard and his henchmen, Phil Ruddock and Alexander Downer, in helping David Hicks.
In a moment of sheer frustration, I wrote to her Majesty, pointing out that the political trio were doing nothing to help David Hicks.
I was amazed when Her Majesty replied, though her Chief Correspondence Officer, and told me she was aware of the matter and that my letter had been sent to the British Minister for Commonwealth Affairs.
The Queen obviously bypassed Australian officials, whom I heard were furious that the letter had been written in the first place and that they had been leapfrogged.
No sooner had the letter from the Palace arrived then I had a call from the Chief of Security at the Commonwealth Affairs office in Whitehall.
He explained that Tony Blair had insisted that all British Citizens be released from Guantanamo Bay, which they subsequently were.
He further said as much as HM’s Government was concerned, there was little that could be done to help Hicks at that time as he was currently applying for British citizenship on the basis that his mother had been born in the United Kingdom.
My own contacts in Whitehall said they could not recall a time when the Queen had been so obviously “political”, particularly in a matter that concerned a Commonwealth citizen ― however it is well known her Majesty abhors any kind of injustice.
Of course locally, the detractors of David Hicks point to his plea of “guilty”, but fail to mention that the young bloke was probably drugged to the hilt, had been tortured and would have said black was white to please the kangaroo court our great allies in Washington had provided.
It was a shameful episode and justice must be now be served by overturning Hicks' wrongful conviction.
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