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Mamdouh Habib released from Guantanamo Bay

Mamdouh Habib released from Guantanamo Bay

Reporter: Jonathan Harley

KERRY O'BRIEN: Preparations to bring home Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib are well under way.
But even before he touches down in Australia, the Federal Government is moving to stop him from
receiving any payment for telling his story to a media outlet. Under the package of anti-terrorism
laws passed last year, provisions were made to try to stop terrorists profiting from their story.
The only problem in the case of Mamdouh Habib is that he's never actually been charged with
terrorist activities, let alone convicted. Jonathan Harley reports.

JONATHAN HARLEY: After more than three years isolated from the outside world, Mamdouh Habib is set
to fly into a storm of attention. The glare of the media will be shining on him. His will be the
first Australian account of life behind this razor wire. But how much is the Mamdouh Habib story
worth, and can the Federal Government stop him from profiting?

MARK DAY (MEDIA COMMENTATOR, 'DAILY TELEGRAPH): I would have thought that '60 Minutes' or a program
like that would pay top dollar, and that would probably be in the region of half a million dollars,
if there is competition in the market.

STEPHEN HOPPER (MAMDOUH HABIB'S LAWYER): A number of media outlets have made offers, and we'll put
all of those offers to my client when he returns to Australia and see what he wishes to do.

PETER MEAKIN (CHANNEL 7): He's been locked up for a few years without trial. He's been denied the
basic elements of justice. I cannot believe that the government is taking this line.

PHILIP RUDDOCK (ATTORNEY-GENERAL): We will investigate whether or not the offences that relate to
profiting from crime can apply in this instance.

JONATHAN HARLEY: For years, jurisdictions all over Australia have had so-called proceeds of crime
laws. The aim is simple: to make sure that criminals can't serve time, only to then enjoy the
proceeds of their crime. Clive Scott is a barrister specialising in confiscation of criminal

CLIVE SCOTT (BARRISTER): The necessity for this type of provision is obvious where you consider
notorious murderers or other criminals who might otherwise make quite a lot of money from selling
their stories to a sensationalist media.

JONATHAN HARLEY: But if crime should not pay, nor should profit be made from so-called literary
proceeds - everything from a book contract to a television interview. After last year's
anti-terrorism legislation, that includes terrorists too. But in the case of Mamdouh Habib, who's
not been charged with or convicted of any offence, imposing a literary proceeds order might not be

PHILIP RUDDOCK: It's not a question of whether or not somebody has been successfully prosecuted;
it's a question of a civil standard of proof.

JONATHAN HARLEY: That civil standard of proof, says Clive Scott, would effectively involve a
drawn-out court case, effectively putting Mamdouh Habib on trial for a case the Americans decided
they could not make.

CLIVE SCOTT: I think it's quite unlikely that the government is going to go down that track, given
that presumably the military prosecutors in the United States have already assessed the evidence
against Mr Habib and have found that there was insufficient there even to charge him, let alone to
bring him to trial.

PHILIP RUDDOCK: I've asked that these matters be examined, but let me make it very clear: that
doesn't prevent him from telling his story, but it would prevent him from receiving funds for
having given those interviews.

STEPHEN HOPPER: I think it's inappropriate for the Attorney-General to make such comments before
any decision has been made by my client. He is speculating on how a law may or may not apply to my
client if he makes a decision or if he doesn't make a decision.

JONATHAN HARLEY: But this debate is as much about the court of public opinion, and Melbourne
talkback host Neil Mitchell has no doubts about what most Australians think of Mamdouh Habib.

NEIL MITCHELL (3AW): I think that the general public view is that Habib is guilty. I think they
convicted him a long time ago, as indeed did some of our politicians.

JONATHAN HARLEY: But that won't diminish the media interest in the Mamdouh Habib story.

NEIL MITCHELL: I think his story's fascinating. I think it's inevitable there will be a bidding
war. I don't think mostly commercial TV stations have got a conscience on this sort of thing.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Veteran news and current affairs director Peter Meakin knows the value of a good
story, but says Channel 7 won't be paying.

PETER MEAKIN: Look, traditionally the biggest payers for interviews are women's magazines, and
unless Mr Habib has some favourite recipes or a winter wardrobe, I don't think they'll be making an
offer. Channel 7 will not be bidding. I think the most likely payer is Channel 9.

MARK DAY: I think he is free to take it, or he should be free to take it, because he has not been
convicted of anything.

JONATHAN HARLEY: This new controversy coincides with the release of the last four British
Guantanamo Bay detainees. They were arrested by police on arrival in the UK, only to be set free 28
hours later. Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty says there are no plans to arrest
Mamdouh Habib when he arrives.

MICK KEELTY (FEDERAL POLICE COMMISSIONER): Well, at this point in time there is no evidence that
the AFP's in possession of that Mr Habib has committed a crime in Australia under Australian
jurisdiction, so we have no intention to arrest him when he arrives in Australia.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Whatever legal battles lie ahead for Mamdouh Habib and the Federal Government, the
media war is well under way. At stake is not just whether Mamdouh Habib receives payment for his
story but whether he's widely seen as being credible and believable.

PETER MEAKIN: The government doesn't want him to be paid. It cannot claim he's guilty of anything
and yet it wants to hang this sort of large shadow of doubt over his head, which I think is unfair
and undemocratic.

STEPHEN HOPPER: This story is of national importance. It's putting another side of the story about
what our government's allowed to happen to an Australian citizen.

JONATHAN HARLEY: Mamdouh Habib's three-year odyssey may be about to end, but the controversy which
surrounds him is far from over.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Jonathan Harley.

Volunteers provide relief to Aceh's hardest hit

Volunteers provide relief to Aceh's hardest hit

Reporter: Tim Palmer

KERRY O'BRIEN: A month into the operation to bring relief to Indonesia's tsunami-devastated Aceh
province, bodies are still being found, the Indonesian Government is suggesting a death toll
approaching 230,000, and major aid organisations admit that the relief effort has been chaotic and
may not have even reached some areas. Certainly, the biggest wheels in the relief machine have been
slow to move out to the most remote and worst-hit areas, and when they have, they've frequently
brought the wrong goods. Instead, the job of targeting the right aid to the hardest hit has been
taken up by a collection of small medical teams and other tiny volunteer groups acting on their own
initiative. ABC Indonesia correspondent Tim Palmer travelled down Aceh's west coast with a team of
western expatriates from Bali who dropped everything, hired a boat, loaded it with supplies and set

TIM PALMER: Thousands of helicopter missions have been flown, convoys of trucks roll across Sumatra
and warships dot Aceh's coast. This is what the international community can throw at something on
the scale of Aceh's tsunami. But on the ground in some of the worst-hit communities, the efficiency
of the big aid groups is being called into question.

STEFAN TEMPLETON (CRISIS PARAMEDIC): I'd say their input has been tragically insufficient and
mind-bogglingly slow in terms of the speed with which the small organisations reacted.

TIM PALMER: All along the most remote parts of the west coast, the lesson that's being learnt from
such a widespread catastrophe is that when it comes to crisis response, small really is beautiful.
And it doesn't come much smaller than this. The Sumber Rejeki, sailing out of Padang for the past
two weeks, has kept some coastal communities alive.

SAM SHULTZ (AID VOLUNTEER): I call this gonzo aid work. We're just a group of people who live in
Bali who've been in Bali for quite a while that just responded to this very quickly. There was no
picking and choosing about who arrived; we just kinda took the group that came.

TIM PALMER: The gonzo aid group here is called the IDEP, Indonesian Development of Education and
Permaculture. The volunteers became involved, like many Bali-based expatriates, after the Kuta
bombings. Locally based, paying cash and speaking Indonesian, they took to the sea within days in
tiny fishing boats or, in Sam Schultz's case, in the Noah's Ark-like splendour of the Rejeki, a
ramshackle West Sumatran ferry.

SAM SCHULTZ: Well, we have the ability, because we're not bureaucratically dominated, to move very
quickly and assess whatever seems to be the need. For example, we got our boat within a day. We
filled it up within two more days after that, just by paying cash in the stores, what's locally
available, and moving on it very quickly.

TIM PALMER: Here, $9,000 a week buys you a ferry and 14 crew. Australia's aid agency AusAID was one
of the few major donors to realise that small groups were getting in where large groups were
failing. AusAID paid for the charter.

SAM SCHULTZ: AusAID has been doing miracles as far as I'm concerned. They're just looking around at
people who are actually doing it, or look like they might do it, and they'll give people support.
They gave us support. They paid for the first two weeks on the contract on the boat, have just
extended it again.

TIM PALMER: The Sumber Rejeki's fourth aid mission starts from Banda Aceh. It's sailing for the
hardest-to-reach places along Aceh's Indian Ocean coast. Aside from the Indonesian crew, the whole
operation is incredibly slim. Sam Schultz has shelved half a dozen engineering projects in Bali.
Stefan Zawada has left his new restaurant in Sanur in hold. Only Jonas Wihal from the major German
aid agency Agro Action has any traditional experience of this type of work. He's based in Darfur in
Sudan and says the extent of the crisis in Aceh is on a far greater scale.

JONAS WIHAL (AGRO ACTION): We have high-energy biscuits, salt, sugar, a few thousand eggs also,
underwear for children and women, things like tampons for women have been - there's no market
available, so these supplies were brought in.

TIM PALMER: That is the difference. The Sumber Rejeki, with its fast response targeted at specific
communities, has been able not only to get in early but to bring the right aid.

SAM SCHULTZ: When we first arrived here, the only thing that was really here was noodles and water,
and the people here at that point had already for 10 days been eating nothing but noodles and were
getting sick from it, because obviously you can't eat instant noodles for that long and remain
healthy. We were the first ones to bring in rice in large quantity and another mix of goods -
cooking oil, all of those sort of things.

TIM PALMER: By the time the Rejeki steams into Lhokruet, it finds it's the first large boat to have
been here since the tsunami. The survival rate here is horrifically low - probably under 10 per
cent - but typical for this stretch of coast. Only a few refugees have stayed close to the sea,
although the number has been bolstered by one baby delivered on the day of the disaster, not
surprisingly named Tsunami. The dozen or so Indonesian soldiers here have had no communications
with their command for the two weeks since they were dropped off, so they guardedly hand out small
amounts of provisions every day, and they don't dare venture away from this headland. Armed GAM
rebels are just 3 kilometres south, and 300 more are 10 kilometres inland. That means that several
hundred people, mostly women, must walk the 24-kilometre round trip to this point then back to
their village every day to receive handouts.

WOMAN: There are about 3,000 people up there. Many are sick; some have caught malaria or diarrhoea.
It's cold up there in the mountains, and there's lots of need.

TIM PALMER: It's a perfect distribution point for the Sumber Rejeki, but getting the aid on land in
an area where nearly every fishing boat was destroyed by the waves isn't easy. Finally, a tonne and
a half of rice goes ashore. High-energy enriched biscuits and a whole range of other supplies,
right down to salt, which simply aren't being dropped off by helicopter runs, follow. Sam and Jonas
set up a roadside depot.

SAM SCHULTZ: We're giving toothpaste, wash powder for clothing, a bar of soap; unfortunately, a
very small amount of cooking oil, sugar, and a mixture of noodles, high-energy biscuits or rice,
depending on what they can carry.

TIM PALMER: That's part of the objective. If the villagers are given as much as they can carry
home, it's hoped they can get on with life beyond a seven-hour walk each day.

SAM SCHULTZ: I can give them larger amounts. The army, for obvious reasons, doesn't want to draw
down their stocks too fast, so they only give them very, very small amounts, whereas I will give
each woman a sack of rice. That's enough to feed her family for at least three or four days, and
they don't have to walk 5 or 6 kilometres to get it.

TIM PALMER: The box is empty, it's time to weigh anchor again, and the Sumber Rejeki heads further
south to Calang. As the ferry edges into the harbour, though, it's clear there are problems. 800
tonnes of aid aboard a car ferry are being unloaded a few boxes at a time into rubber dinghies. The
Indonesian landing craft that have been here a week ago are gone.

SAM SCHULTZ: This has been incredibly difficult here. Every time we come here, there's a different
way of unloading. Sometimes we're using local boats. The military has been very helpful with their
amphibious tractors when they can, but they're very old equipment, they're breaking down a lot,
they can only run them so many hours a day. The lack of landing craft here is just astonishing to

TIM PALMER: There's similar frustration ashore. Stefan Templeton and a French crisis medical team
had been in Calang for 10 days before the UN arrived. He and the other small groups here have
learned to make do.

STEFAN TEMPLETON: The only supplies come through between arrangements that are made between the
smaller people, the smaller organisations on the ground. It's deals; it's all about humanitarian
hustle. That's how it's done.

TIM PALMER: Hustling for what?

STEFAN TEMPLETON: Hustling for food. "I've got bed sheets; you've got mosquito nets; I've got some
rice here."

TIM PALMER: The Sumber Rejeki crew has helped keep that hustle going. Sam's team brought water
purification gear on an earlier voyage. But there's a sense among those here that the big agencies
have simply forgotten Calang, the worst affected of all of Aceh's major coastal centres. Tetanus
vaccine promised has failed to arrive. Helicopters would provide it, but there's no fuel for
emergency evacuations.

STEFAN TEMPLETON: If you consider this a theatre of humanitarian war, the centre is here in Calang,
and this centre and let's say the 70 kilometres on either side is really where the battle will be
won or lost, and it's being lost for the moment, I have to say, in my opinion.

TIM PALMER: That's an easy opinion to reach when you see the conditions on the hills above Calang's
devastated beaches. Perched on narrow ridges are thousands of people from surrounding villages, as
well as the few hundred who survived and stayed here from a population of 18,000. Many, like
Faridun, who lost her husband, seem frozen into inactivity and hopelessness.

FARIDUN (TSUNAMI SURVIVOR): Of course I'm scared to go back down by the sea. I'm scared the water
will come back. I have a lot of children, three children to look after.

TIM PALMER: Back on the beach, Sam is working on a plan to overcome those fears. He has 1700 sheets
of precious salvaged new roofing iron. The next stage is to build the houses and hope the people
will come.

SAM SCHULTZ: It's gonna be like a domino effect. Somebody is going to build down on the beach,
people here are going to see that it's comfortable. They feel it's very risky because they're all
afraid of a new earthquake, a new tsunami, but once they see somebody doing it who's got a well,
who's got a roof on their house, got a floor in their house, they're all going to want it, of
course, particularly the women, and they'll start pushing their men in that direction.

TIM PALMER: Over three weeks, Sam and Stefan have helped take some of these communities from hunger
and illness to a first tentative rebuilding. Now they're setting sail for home in Bali. The UN is
in Calang now. It's hard to imagine that, person for person, any team here will match what's been
done by the crew on the Sumber Rejeki.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tim Palmer on the front line of relief efforts in Aceh.

Iraqi expatriates prepare to cast their ballots

Iraqi expatriates prepare to cast their ballots

Reporter: Tracy Bowden

KERRY O'BRIEN: As you would have seen on the news, Australian troops in Iraq have suffered their
most serious casualties yet, as violence intensifies in the countdown to Sunday's crucial election.
Eight Australian soldiers were wounded by a suicide car bomb during a routine patrol in their
armoured vehicle on the streets of Baghdad. Two of the soldiers required surgery. A series of car
bomb explosions across the country killed at least 20 Iraqis as insurgents staged attacks on
coalition troops, political party offices and polling stations. Tomorrow night, ABC correspondent
in Baghdad Mark Willacy will preview what's being billed as the country's first democratic
election, amid fears of escalating violence and even the possibility of civil war. But far from the
carnage, Iraqi expatriates are already preparing to cast their ballots. Almost 12,000 Iraqis now
living in Australia have registered to vote, and will be the first in the world to do so when polls
open for three days from tomorrow. While many express enthusiasm about being part of the democratic
process, the turnout for voting here has not been as high as was hoped. Tracy Bowden reports.

IBRAHIM AL-ABSAWI: We actually left Iraq in 1991, after Saddam took over control, and we fled to
camps in Saudi, and that was in 1991, and we stayed there till 1995.

TRACY BOWDEN: Perth in Western Australia is half a world away from the violence and bloodshed in
Baghdad. Ibrahim al-Absawi relishes the peace and freedom of his adopted home, but he's about to
travel thousands of kilometres to take part in the Iraqi elections.

IBRAHIM AL-ABSAWI: We are voting for the national assembly that will set up the constitution of
Iraq. Iraq has never had a constitution before.

TRACY BOWDEN: The closest polling facility is in Melbourne, so today, the 22-year-old student and
his father will fly across the country to vote.

IBRAHIM AL-ABSAWI: I would have preferred a centre in WA so that more Iraqis would have been able
to vote, but to be able to travel and spend that much money, the cost of the travel and the cost of
accommodation and everything else, in the interests of my people, the interests of my country, I
feel proud of it. I'm looking forward to it.

TRACY BOWDEN: Australia is one of 14 countries where Iraqi expatriates can vote, in a program
coordinated by the International Organisation for Migration.

to bring two forms of ID to the registration centre. One is to prove their identity and their age,
and the other one is to prove their claim to Iraqi nationality.

TRACY BOWDEN: Due to time constraints, polling centres have been set up only in Sydney, Melbourne
and Shepparton in regional Victoria - the places where most Iraqis live. While security at these
facilities might be nothing like the strict measures introduced in Iraq, it's an issue that's being
taken seriously.

BERNIE HOGAN: It was something that we gave a lot of thought to. We've been getting regular updates
from the Federal Government and the Victorian police force and the New South Wales police force,
and we've been taking on board their recommendations, and I think we've adequately addressed all of
our security measures.

TRACY BOWDEN: As polling draws closer and the violence in Iraq increases, Nagham Hadad is becoming
more and more anxious about her parents in Baghdad.

NAGHAM HADAD: When I went down to register, I was really, really excited to go through that, but I
have my concerns about my family's safety over there, definitely. They're going to go through a
very hard time.

TRACY BOWDEN: And they would like to vote if they can?

NAGHAM HADAD: Definitely, definitely they would love to vote. But if they are going to be concerned
about their safety, I don't think they will do it.

TRACY BOWDEN: Nagham and Dawood Hadad came to Australia more than a decade ago, and see their
future here and that of their children. But they also feel deeply about Iraq's future.

NAGHAM HADAD: They want to have a successful election and we want to have an Iraqi government that
will have the opportunity to tell the Americans that the time has come; we want our liberation.

DAWOOD HADAD: With the presence of Saddam, there is no future; we were in a black tunnel and there
is no light in the front. Now, there is a light in the tunnel, so hopefully we will follow the

ABDIL KARIM AL-MOUSAWI: I left Iraq because it was so difficult for a human being to live there.

TRACY BOWDEN: Abdil Karim al-Mousawi fled Saddam Hussein's regime in 1999. He's now on a temporary
protection visa but is playing an active role in the elections, helping out at polling centres.

ABDIL KARIM AL-MOUSAWI: Sometimes I meet people, they say, "Are we really going to vote? Are we
really going to have election? It's unbelievable." That's what they say. It's like a dream for us,
believe me.

TV ADVERTISEMENT: If the future of Iraq had a voice, what would it say? "I want a happy and stable
life for my people."

TRACY BOWDEN: Widespread advertising ensured that Iraqis in Australia were made aware of the
out-of-country voting program.

TV ADVERTISEMENT: The future of Iraq has a voice: your vote.

TRACY BOWDEN: Businessman Ranin Askari was one who heeded the call to vote.

RANIN ASKARI: I'm here in Sydney, in Australia. I don't have any problem, me going and spending 10,
15 minutes to register. Every vote counts, and I believe that, you know, as an Iraqi, all Iraqis
should go and do that.

TRACY BOWDEN: Despite such sentiments, the turnout of voters in Australia has been lower than what
organisers had hoped for. With around 40,000 Iraqis eligible to vote, just under 12,000 have

BERNIE HOGAN: I think the main factors are apathy, a bit of apprehension, scepticism about the
whole process. There are a huge number of factors. I think one of the other factors is that the
political parties have not been actively canvassing, and so people are unaware of who they're
voting for.

TRACY BOWDEN: But those who are taking part believe their vote will make a difference, and say it's
their duty to support friends and family in Iraq who are taking a much greater risk to have their

IBRAHIM AL-ABSAWI: There are forces in Iraq right now, they're trying to threaten the Iraqi people
and say, "Don't go to election centres because you will not come out alive. Don't do this; you will
die. We'll blast you, we'll kill you, we'll do this." Look, there's a price that has to be paid,
you know, and Iraqis are willing to go through with that. The Iraqi people are willing, because
they've got strong motivation, and nothing will hinder them from voting.

TRACY BOWDEN: Are you confident the election will make a difference?

NAGHAM HADAD: Well, that's a very tricky question. I am not sure, but at least it's the first step
towards better future.

KERRY O'BRIEN: Tracy Bowden with that report, and a reminder that Mark Willacy will be previewing
Sunday's election from Baghdad tomorrow night.