Hicks lawyers may seek judicial review of UK decision not to press Gitmo release

[JURIST] Lawyers for David Hicks [JURIST news archive; advocacy website], an Australian held by the US at the Guantanamo Bay detention center [JURIST news archive], may seek judicial review of the UK Foreign Office's decision not to petition the US for his release [JURIST report]. Hicks' Australian lawyer, David McLeod, said that another approach being considered is to press the Australian government into working for his release. Hicks faces a military commission on charges [PDF] of conspiracy to commit war crimes and attempted murder, but proceedings have been delayed pending the US Supreme Court's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [Duke Law case backgrounder; JURIST news archive], a case challenging the use of military commissions to try foreign terrorism suspects. A ruling could come this week.

Hicks, who was captured in 2001 while allegedly fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan and has been detained at Guantanamo since then, won a court ruling [JURIST report] earlier this year entitling him British citizenship based on his mother's nationality. The UK has already secured the release of several other British citizens and is negotiating for the release of noncitizen residents [JURIST report], but said Monday that it will not press for Hicks' release as he was an Australian citizen when he was taken into custody.

In other reaction to Monday's decision, Amnesty International [advocacy website] expressed disappointment that the UK would not push for Hicks' release and blamed the Australian government [ABC report] for not doing enough. Hicks' father, Terry, also lamented [ABC report] the Australian government's handling of the case. Australia's ABC News has more. The Sydney Morning Herald has additional coverage.

 

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