Aletho News


US Admits Former Guantanamo Detainee Innocent, Says Lawyer

teleSUR | January 23, 2015

Over a decade after being thrown in the military prison Guantanamo Bay, the United States has admitted Australian citizen David Hicks is innocent, his lawyer said Friday.

“I have no doubt, that whether or not the military commission clears David, he will certainly be cleared in the higher courts of the United States if we need to go there,” Hicks’ lawyer Stephen Kenny said, according to Australian broadcaster ABC.

Kennedy explained that the U.S. military commission is expected to deliver a verdict on whether Hicks’ conviction will be quashed within a month. According to Kennedy, U.S. courts have already deemed Hicks’ conviction invalid, and his innocence is no longer being disputed.

“(It’s) a fact we’ve known for some time, but it’s taken the court some time to come to that conclusion,” Kennedy said.

The lawyer also stated the Australian government should issue an apology, arguing the former government of John Howard was a staunch supporter of Guantanamo Bay while Hicks was held by the U.S. military.

“I’m sure David would appreciate an apology at the very least, and I’m sure he’d appreciate some compensation,” Kennedy said.

In 2001, Hicks was captured by the Northern Alliance militant coalition, which fought against the Taliban until late 2001. A Northern Alliance-aligned warlord sold Hicks to U.S. forces for US$5000, claiming the Australian had been fighting alongside Al Qaeda.

Hicks was held in Guantanamo Bay until 2007, when he pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism. The media dubbed Hicks the “Aussie Taliban.” However, his lawyer has argued Hicks made the plea under duress, after enduring years of torture and mistreatment at the hands of U.S. forces.

In a 2004 affidavit, Hicks alleged he was sexually abused, routinely deprived of sleep, beaten, kept in solitary confinement almost 24 hours a day and administered unidentified medication. He also stated he saw other detainees savaged by dogs.

Hicks later said he only pleaded guilty to escape the U.S. prison.

After pleading guilty, Hicks was transferred to Adelaide’s Yatala Prison to serve the rest of his seven year sentence.

After nine months, Australian authorities released Hicks under a control order, and he now lives in Sydney.

January 23, 2015 - Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture | , , ,

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