[JURIST] US President George W. Bush assured Australian Prime Minister John Howard Friday that Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] would be brought to trial, but refused to give a timetable for the trial. Referring to Hicks' legal team's promise to challenge [JURIST report] the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [PDF text], Bush noted that Hicks is "having his day in court in an interesting way."
Hicks was taken to Guantanamo Bay after he was captured in Afghanistan, where he allegedly had been fighting with the Taliban. He was initially charged [PDF text; JURIST report] in 2004, but his trial was delayed [JURIST reports] while the US Supreme Court considered, and eventually ruled against, the legality of the military commissions system as initially constituted. Congress subsequently passed the MCA to provide statutory authorization for military commissions and new charges will be filed once procedures implementing the MCA are approved. Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock [official profile] said last week that he would seek Hicks' return to Australia [JURIST report] if charges were not initiated by November. AAP has more.