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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 6254

Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (16:00): I wish to ask the Attorney a question regarding the deferral of expenditure of the confiscated assets account which has been detailed in this year's budget. I want to refer him to the case of David Hicks, who has published his memoir Guantanamo: My Journey, which, staggeringly to me, has sold a reasonable number of copies. Therefore it would stand to reason that he would have made a significant amount of money. I have heard estimates that he might have stood to have earned of up to $350,000 under the initial print run of this book. I want to refer the Attorney to part 2-5 of the Proceeds of Crime Act which provides for the making of a literary proceeds order where a person has committed an indictable offence against either Australian or foreign law and the court is satisfied that the person has derived literary proceeds in relation to the offence.

The offence to which Mr Hicks has pleaded guilty under the Military Commissions Act clearly falls within a definition of a foreign indictable offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act. I therefore would like to ask the Attorney why the government has not referred this case for investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act; and would he like to comment about whether he believes it is appropriate for a man who has admitted support of a terrorist organisation, in this case Lashkar-e-Taiba, and admitted committing offences in relation to his involvement with that organisation—an organisation, I might add, that has literally killed hundreds of people, including two Australians—to make money out of his crimes?