Australia AG says Guantanamo detainee Hicks can't sell story after transfer home

[JURIST] Australian Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee David Hicks [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] will not be permitted to sell his story to the media, Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock [official profile] said Sunday. Though he has not been found to have violated any Australian law, Hicks will be subject to the nation's 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act [PDF text], which forbids convicted criminals from profiting from their crimes, including through media deals. Hicks' plea agreement [JURIST report; text] with the US government, which last month reduced his sentence to nine additional months in prison [JURIST report], contained conditions that barred Hicks from speaking to the media for one year and from selling his story. Ruddock said last week that the gag order is unenforceable [JURIST report] in Australia, and that Hicks could not be extradited should he violate the order. The federal statute, however, will still forbid Hicks from selling his story, which industry sources say could be worth as much as $3.3 million. AP has more.

Hicks is set to be transferred to an Adelaide prison [JURIST news archive] to serve the remainder of his sentence as soon as the Australian government receives formal documentation from US authorities. The Australian federal government then can approach the state government in South Australia to move the process forward, including assessing security requirements and enforcing a potential control order [JURIST report]. Hicks' lawyer last week said that despite the unenforceability of the gag order, Hicks is not interested in speaking to the media [JURIST report].

 

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