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ALP and Coalition wilfully blind to US court ruling

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MEDIA RELEASE 31 October 2012

ALP and Coalition Wilfully Blind to US Court Ruling

The ALP and Coalition today joined together in an act of wilful blindness to vote down a Senate motion noting the recent US Court of Appeals ruling that providing material support for terrorism was not a war crime between 1996 and 2001.

In 2007 David Hicks was retrospectively charged and convicted of providing material support for terrorism within that period and this ruling casts serious doubt over the validity of David Hicks’ conviction.

“If the ALP and Coalition are unable even to acknowledge a simple statement of fact, we can only ask what are they trying to hide?” Senator Penny Wright, Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, said.

“We now know what many have long suspected, that David Hicks’ charge itself was invalid and unlawful, but the ALP and Coalition persistently refuse to acknowledge this basic fact.

“Australians need to understand that this is about much more than David Hicks. It is about every Australian government’s role in upholding the democratic and legal rights of its citizens.

“It is increasingly clear that the Attorney General has a moral and legal obligation to announce a full inquiry into this case.”

Media contact: Anna Chang 0417 173 508

The motion read:

I move that the Senate

(a) notes that:

(i) the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently ruled that providing material support for terrorism was not a war crime between 1996 and 2001 and therefore could not support a conviction of Salim Hamdan;

(ii) in 2007, Australian, David Hicks, was convicted of this now invalid charge when he submitted an Alford plea through the US Military Commission system; and

(b) calls on the Government to recognise that there is doubt regarding the validity of David Hicks’ conviction.