[JURIST] The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [JURIST news archive] has said as part of a court claim for British citizenship that he was shown a photo of a beaten fellow inmate and told that if he did not co-operate with interrogators he would be flown to Egypt for the same treatment. The statement and other details of allegedly harsh treatment by American personnel are contained in a document that will be presented in May as Hicks presses his thusfar unsuccessful case for British citizenship [JURIST news archive] on the basis of his mother's nationality. Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock [official website] has promised to investigate Hicks' allegations, but in an interview [World Today transcript] Friday he refused to answer "affirmatively or negatively" whether he was satisfied with the way in which Hicks has been treated.
After five years of detention at Guantanamo, Hicks was officially charged [JURIST report; PDF charge sheet] on Thursday with providing material support to terrorists [DOD press release]. Ruddock praised the fact that a proposed attempted murder charge against Hicks has been dropped, deeming it a sign that "the [US] Convening Authority is properly exercising her discretion . . . in a conscientious and thorough way." Many have criticized the charge against Hicks [The Age editorial] as retrospective, however, claiming that it only became an offense within the military commissions' jurisdiction last October.
In Australia, Hicks' lawyers have filed a claim [JURIST report] against the Australian government for breaching its duty to protect Hicks as a citizen by failing to call for a fair trial. Reuters has more.