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Tuesday, 27 May 2003
Page: 15028

Mr ORGAN (2:34 PM) —My question is directed to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister may be aware that David Hicks—whose father, Terry Hicks, is present in the gallery this afternoon—has been detained in a cage at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba by the United States government without charge since January last year. Can the Prime Minister inform the House whether the Australian government has ever requested that the United States administration send Mr Hicks home? If not, why not?

Mr HOWARD (Prime Minister) —I was not aware that Mr Hicks is in the gallery, but I acknowledge him. I thank the member for Cunningham for the question. This matter has arisen in discussions between the Attorney-General and a relevant legal officer in the United States department at, I think, the Pentagon. Discussions are under way regarding Mr Hicks. I think at this stage it is not appropriate for me to say anything further other than that, on the basis of what I have been told by the Attorney-General, he is well satisfied with the progress of those discussions, particularly in relation to the position of Mr Hicks in the event of him facing any kind of trial or arraignment in the United States.