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Guantanamo inmate's lawyers want Australian review

Written by: Staff
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CANBERRA, July 4 (Reuters) Lawyers for Australian Guantanamo Bay inmate David Hicks asked the Australian government today to formally review his case after the US Supreme Court ruled planned military trials were illegal.

Hicks' lawyer David McLeod made his plea during a meeting lasting almost an hour with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, saying that Hicks was now being detained without charge as a result of the US court's decision.

Downer said the United States was considering how to proceed following last Thursday's ruling, but Australia still wanted Hicks to face a civilian trial or military court martial in the United States.

''We want those people in Guantanamo Bay, who have had charges brought against them, we want them to face justice,'' Downer told reporters in Adelaide.

Hicks, who has been in detention in Guantanamo Bay for four-and-a-half years, had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, aiding the enemy and conspiracy, and was one of the first detainees scheduled to face a military trial.

McLeod said he had asked Downer to seek Hicks' release.

''I indicated to him that in my opinion the charges were no longer in existence and that David Hicks was now simply a detainee,'' McLeod told reporters.

Australia had supported the U.S. military commission trials and did not seek Hicks' release because he could not have been charged in Australia. But Australia said Hicks could serve his prison sentence at home if he is convicted.

REUTERS CH DS1302

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