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Howard's support for US regime goes too far.

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Senator Brian Greig Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Attorney General & Justice 11 July 2003 MEDIA RELEASE 03/507

Howard’s Support for US regime Goes Too Far

If David Hicks was imprisoned by any country other than the United States, this current situation would represent an ‘international incident’.

Australian Democrats Attorney General and Justice spokesperson, Senator Brian Greig, says the Australian Government is abrogating its responsibility for this Australian citizen and handing over the sovereignty of this matter to the United States of America.

“After more than sixteen months in detention, David Hicks still has no charges against him. If this situation persisted anywhere but the US, the Government would intervene to bring the detainee home,” Senator Greig said.

“The Prime Minister is demonising David Hicks with the same tactics he used with the children overboard stories, and the existence of weapons of mass destruction,” Senator Greig said.

The United States Ambassador to Australia has not ruled out the implementation of the death penalty in Hick’s military trial, and has confirmed that the US could ignore any Australian intervention. “The secrecy surrounding the US Military Commission offers no transparency and no accountability in the trying of an Australian citizen," Senator Greig said.

“If the US has charges to be laid against David Hicks, then these charges could as well be handled by Australian Courts.

“We have no guarantee that a secret US Military trial will observe the usual rules of law or normal court procedures, and the methods used by the US in dealing with detainees at Guantanamo Bay does not auger well for openness or accountability in any subsequent trials of these detainees,” Senator Greig said.

“If the United States has enough evidence for charges to be laid against David Hicks, then he should be tried in an open court of law, preferably in Australia," Senator Greig said.

Media contact: Senator Greig on 08) 9228 3133 or Di Graham 0417 177 523