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Tuesday, 14 October 2003
Page: 21395

Mr McClelland asked the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 11 August 2003:

(1) Does he recall stating on 8 July 2003 that David Hicks had admitted training with Al Qaeda.

(2) In respect of this admission, (a) to whom, (b) on what date, and (c) where was it made.

(3) Was this admission made orally or in writing.

(4) Does the Australian Government possess a written statement containing the admission.

(5) When and how was this admission communicated to the Australian Government.

(6) Is the Australian Government satisfied that the admission would be admissible in an Australian court under the Commonwealth Evidence Act 1995.

(7) When and how was David Hicks' family informed of this admission.

(8) When and how were David Hicks' legal representatives informed of this admission.

Mr Howard (Prime Minister) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) As the release of further information may prejudice legal proceedings, the Government does not consider it appropriate to comment further.

(3) See (2).

(4) See (2).

(5) See (2).

(6) The admissibility of evidence is a matter for prosecuting authorities and the courts before which the matter may arise.

(7) Questions relating to how and when Mr Hicks' family obtained information relating to the above are personal matters for the family.

(8) Questions relating to how and when David Hicks' legal representatives were informed of the above are matters for the legal representatives.