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Sorry about that, Chief…

30 Apr

Oops, as they might say:

THE Pentagon’s former chief prosecutor has admitted he never wanted to pursue charges against the Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks.

Mr Hicks’s family and lawyer claimed vindication yesterday after the US Air Force Colonel, Moe Davis – appearing as a witness at a pre-trial hearing for another Guantanamo Bay inmate – said the Australian was not worth charging because he was not considered as serious an offender as other inmates.

But Colonel Davis said he had “inherited” the Hicks case from another prosecutor and was under political pressure to press charges. He had wanted to pursue cases that warranted 20-year sentences, which did not include Mr Hicks. He said the plea bargain to which Mr Hicks agreed to get out of Guantanamo Bay had been organised without his knowledge.

Colonel Davis was once a strident defender of the military commission process and a harsh critic of Mr Hicks and his military lawyer, Major Michael Mori. He resigned as chief prosecutor late last year, saying he had been forced to make inappropriate decisions. At Monday’s pre-trial hearing, Colonel Davis criticised the military commissions as being tainted by politics and using evidence gained by coercion.

Mr Hicks’s Adelaide lawyer, David McLeod, said “the worm has turned”.

“Perhaps the Australian public can now reflect on why it was that David Hicks pleaded guilty when the choice was return to Australia or be a subject to an indefinite political process of detention at Guantanamo,” he said. “It is total vindication of what the other [US] senior prosecutors said in emails in 2005 that the process was rigged, politically rigged.”…

Sydney Morning Herald

I think I’ll leave that right there, but future historians will have fun with the whole saga, won’t they?

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2 responses to “Sorry about that, Chief…

  1. Bruce

    April 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    Hmmm, I’m sure the historians will have some fun and subsequently get accused of left-wing bias. 😉

    Dunno about the “leave that right there” bit though, although I’m probably misrepresenting you (I know you need a cut-off point somewhere!); I’d like to see things go forward. Ruddock and Downer were very likely complicit in the illegal detention and torture of an Australian citizen. I think there needs to be an investigation to see if they knew what was happening in Guantanamo, and if they did, for criminal trials to proceed.

    That and other Howard Government criminal baggage such as Howard’s role in the Patrick’s dispute.

    I can appreciate forgiveness and grace, but not in a context where accountability is non-negotiable. I think these things need to be taken up and taken up quickly (not ignored, delayed or saved up for a political rainy day).

     
  2. ninglun

    April 30, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    I am sure the family and lawyer have been discussing it, and am equally sure we will hear more. My “leave it right there” kind of assumed that. After all, what can I contribute except to watch and wait in wonder?

     
 
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