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SKY: Earlier I spoke to your Labor opposite number, Nicola Roxon, and she suggested there was no
reason other than a lack of political will - and your stubbornness - for David Hicks not to be
returned to Australia immediately.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: I did see and hear the presentation on Sky. You might be surprised that I was

SKY: Not at all.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: I was disappointed that she made a number of incorrect assertions against the
statute that was passed by the American congress to ensure the military commission had appropriate
power and were appropriate bodies to deal with the trying of unlawful combatants.

She asserted that in that trial process there would be no presumption of innocence.

In the law, there is - as I have read it.

She asserted that there was no appeal.

The Congress inserted the provision of a civilian appeal to the processes that were there before,
which involved appeals within the military system.

And she asserted in relation to the accused being able to know all of the evidence - that was not

In fact that is deliberately included in the legislation in the United States. In fact it is beyond
that which a person before an Australian court may experience if there was intelligence-related
material that needed to be protected.

Look, the important point to know about this matter is that we are as anxious as anybody to ensure,
or to see, the military commission process concluded as quickly as possible.

The Prime Minister has made representations frequently, I have spoken as recently as this week to
the American Attorney General. We continue to push them very strongly.

Alexander Downer and Brendan Nelson will be in the AUSMIN discussions this week and will raise with
their counterparts - the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, the new Secretary of
Defense - the need for this matter to be resolved as quickly as possible. We want to ensure that
happens and we are continuing to make representations to achieve that outcome.

SKY: The comparison is often made to Britain and the fact that Britain's citizens have been
repatriated. Why is it that David Hicks can't be brought back to Australia?

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Well, in relation to the Brits that were returned, they gave certain assurances
to the United States about the way in which they would manage them on their return.

But they were also people who had not been charged under the military commission process. There are
Brits that remain in Guantanamo Bay.

Sometimes it is asserted that there are no other westerners in Guantanamo Bay.

There is in fact a Canadian who was arrested as a minor and one hears very little about the claims
that others ought to be returned. I didn't see in Canada when I was there that they were seeking
the return of Mr Khan.

I haven't heard the Brits seeking the return of the permanent residents of the United Kingdom that
remain there.

SKY: Mr Ruddock, I'm afraid we are going to have to leave it there. Thanks for joining us.

In a further interview with Sky today Mr Ruddock confirmed that he expected the US to charge Mr
Hicks, shortly after January 17, by which time regulations must be proclaimed for the new military

ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Regulations have to be proclaimed within three months (of the congress approving
the military commission system), that means they have to be in place before mid January and they
provide the basis upon which a charge - and the particular charges that might be brought against
David Hicks - will be outlined and also the procedures for the conduct of the military commission.

The United States Attorney-General has assured me that his expectation is that they would be able
to charge him shortly after the regulations had been proclaimed.