Chronology of Australian federalism

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Australians in Guantanamo Bay
A chronology of the detention of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks

Nigel Brew
Jan Miller
Foreign Affairs, Defence & Trade Section

Roy Jordan
Sue Harris Rimmer
Law and Bills Digest Section

29 May, 2007

This Chronology is issued electronically. It will be kept up-to-date online. The date of the latest update is noted clearly above.

Introduction

In the months and years following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 on the United States, a number of people suspected of involvement with terrorist organisations or their activities were apprehended in various countries around the world. Many of these people were, and in some cases still are, detained by the United States at the US military facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Two Australian citizens, Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks, were both transferred to US custody following their apprehension in Pakistan in October 2001 and in Afghanistan in December 2001, respectively.


In July 2003, David Hicks became one of the first six Guantanamo Bay detainees to be determined by President George W. Bush to be eligible for trial by Military Commission. Mr Hicks was eventually charged on 10 June 2004 with conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder and aiding the enemy. He pleaded not guilty to each charge.

Mr Habib was released on 28 January 2005 on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to lay charges against him.

The US Government maintained that it had a substantial case in relation to Mr Hicks. The Australian Government has maintained that it is not possible to bring Mr Hicks back to Australia to be prosecuted under Australian law and that once he was charged, the US prosecution process had to be allowed to take its course.

The military commission process was found to be unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court on 29 June 2006. The new Military Commissions Act 2006 was passed in the US Congress in September 2006. Mr Hicks was the first detainee to be brought to trial.

In light of the unusual circumstances under which David Hicks was to be tried, Australian officials gained some important concessions in relation to his case. In addition to a guarantee that the media and Australian officials would be allowed to attend his trial, other significant assurances included that:

  • the US would not seek the death penalty;
  • an independent legal expert (sanctioned by the Australian Government) and two family members would be allowed to observe the trial;
  • conversations between Mr Hicks and his lawyers would not be monitored; and
  • if convicted, Mr Hicks would be transferred to Australia to serve any sentence.

Mr Hicks pleaded guilty to the charge of providing material support for terrorism at his arraignment before a military commission on 26 March 2007. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, of which all but nine months were suspended. On 20 May 2007 Hicks was transferred to a South Australian prison to serve out the remaining nine months of his sentence.

Both Mr Hicks and Mr Habib have alleged they were subjected to torture and humiliation during their detention in US facilities. It has also been claimed that in a practice that has become known as ‘extraordinary rendition’, Mr Habib was secretly transferred by US authorities to Egypt, where he alleges he suffered maltreatment during his six months detention. The Australian Government has stated that it remains confident of the US Government’s assurances that detainees were treated humanely, despite allegations by the International Red Cross to the contrary. A report by the UN Commission on Human Rights, released in February 2006, also concludes that detention practices at Guantanamo Bay amount to torture.

This chronology of the detention of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks covers the period from 27 September 2001 to May 2007, and will be updated as appropriate to include any issues arising from the return of Mr Hicks to Australia. It serves to record key events and relevant commentary by a variety of persons and organisations, and is sourced mainly from media reports, Australian and US Government information and various legal groups. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure this chronology is as comprehensive as possible, it should not be considered to be an exhaustive treatment of the matter.

Major documents only are listed below. For further items, refer to the Parlinfo database and select Library for journal articles, books and library publications, and Media for newspaper articles and media releases. Search under the term "David Hicks".

For details on the background to the Military Commission process and the charges faced by Mr Hicks, refer to the Parliamentary Library Research Note Progress of the United States Military Commission trial of David Hicks by Angus Martyn. The Attorney-General’s Department has also compiled answers to a series of frequently asked questions in relation to Mr Hicks, which are available on the Department’s website.

An E-Brief titled David Hicks: legal issues in his sentencing, transfer and imprisonment will soon be available from the Parliamentary Library.

Chronology -

2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007

Milestone

Details

Source Documents

2001

27 September 2001

Mamdouh Habib s house in Sydney is raided by Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officers.

J. Kidman, ASIO swoop in hunt for bin Laden link , Sun Herald, 30 September 2001.

5 October 2001

Mamdouh Habib is arrested and detained in Pakistan. He is transferred first to Cairo and held in Egyptian custody and then to Bagram air base in Afghanistan where he is held in US custody. However, no advice is given on these movements to Australian officials.

C. Kremmer, et al., Australians in dark over held terrorist , Sydney Morning Herald, 19 April 2002.

9 December 2001

An unnamed Australian twenty-six year old Caucasian male (later known to be David Hicks) is reported to have been captured by the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Capture of Australian by Northern Alliance, media release,
12 December 2001.

11 December 2001 The Congressional Research Service of the US Library of Congress publishes a history of military commissions. J. Elsea, Terrorism and the Law of War: Trying Terrorists as War Criminals before Military Commissions

14 December 2001

David Hicks is to be transferred to US custody. The Australian Government intends to do whatever is necessary to bring him to justice if Mr Hicks has committed a crime against Australian law .

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, and Senator The Hon. Robert Hill, Australian national in Afghanistan transfer to US custody, joint news release, 14 December 2001.

17 December 2001

The Northern Alliance transfers David Hicks to US forces.

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, and Senator The Hon. Robert Hill, David Hicks transferred to US forces, media release, 17 December 2001.

24 December 2001

A joint team of AFP and ASIO officers begins interviewing David Hicks aboard a US naval ship.

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Interview of Mr Hicks, media release, 24 December 2001.

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2002

2 January 2002

Australian officials complete their week-long interrogation of David Hicks on board the USS Peleliu in the Indian Ocean.

AAP, Hicks interview ends after a week , Canberra Times, 2 January 2002.

3 January 2002

David Hicks is transferred from the USS Peleliu to the USS Bataan, an amphibious naval assault ship.

K. Hughes, and D. Peters, Hicks moved off from USS Peleliu , Canberra Times, 3 January 2002.

11 January 2002

The Minister for Defence, Senator Robert Hill, says that he thinks the US would want to hand over Mr Hicks and see an Australian citizen prosecuted by Australians in Australia under Australian law.

Senator The Hon. Robert Hill, Doorstop interview, Washington DC,
10 January 2002.

12 January 2002

Senator Hill says that Australia would not make a formal request for David Hicks s return until the Attorney-General s Department decided what charges Mr Hicks would face.

G. Alcorn, Australia pledges to help US fight terrorism in the region , The Age,
12 January 2002.

12 January 2002

Civil libertarians and senior legal figures protest against the continued detention without charge of David Hicks.

C. Banham, and G. Alcorn, US detention sparks call to protect citizens , Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2002.

David Hicks arrives at Guantanamo Bay

13 January 2002

Mr Hicks is confirmed as having landed yesterday at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

C. Aldinger, Terrorist suspects jailed in Cuban army hell hole , Sun Herald, 13 January 2002.

17 January 2002

The Australian Government confirms that David Hicks is being held in US military custody and accepts that this is appropriate. Access to Mr Hicks is assured and advice is given that he is held in humane conditions.

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Welfare of David Hicks, doorstop interview, Perth,
17 January 2002.

19 January 2002

Mamdouh Habib, who has dual Australian and Egyptian citizenship, is believed to be detained in Egypt. However, Egyptian authorities refuse to confirm to Australian officials that they are holding Mr Habib.

C. Kremmer, Second man linked to al-Qaeda , Sydney Morning Herald,
19 January 2002.

22 January 2002

In relation to the open-ended period of detention those at Guantanamo face, US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says, [A]t some point they will either be charged or released .

US Department of State, Rumsfeld defends treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay ,
22 January 2002.

23 January 2002

An article outlines a biographical sketch of Mamdouh Habib as a Sydney father seeking a pure Islamic education for his children in Pakistan.

C. Kremmer, Mystery deepens over Australian s school trip that ended in detention , Sydney Morning Herald,
23 January 2002.

28 January 2002

The Bush administration decides that al-Qaeda and Taliban members who are prisoners at Guantanamo Bay will not be accorded prisoner-of-war status. The captives from 30 nations are to be regarded as unlawful combatants as they engaged in terrorism, not military combat.

Ari Fleischer, White House Press briefing, 28 January 2002.

7 February 2002

President George W. Bush says:

While the United States has not recognized the Taliban regime as the legitimate Afghani government, the Taliban members are covered by the conventions, which Afghanistan is a party to. Al-Qaida detainees cannot be considered prisoners of war as they are not a state party to the Geneva Conventions, and their members are not entitled to POW status.

M. D Kellerhals, Jr, Bush says Geneva Convention applies to Taliban not al-Qaida , Department of State, 7 February 2002.

J. Garamone, Geneva Convention applies to Taliban not Al Qaeda, American Forces Press Service, 7 February 2002.

19 February 2002

Attorneys associated with the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), leading capital defense lawyers, and prominent lawyers in Australia and the United Kingdom file a petition in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a Writ of Habeas Corpus(1) in the case of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and David Hicks, who are currently being held at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Habeas corpus: a prerogative writ directed to someone who detains another in custody, commanding them to produce the other person before the court. It is mainly used to test the legality of an imprisonment , A. Delbridge, et al. (eds.), The Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd ed., The Macquarie Library, Macquarie University, Sydney, 1997.

Human Rights NOW.org/Center for Constitutional Rights, Writ of Habeas Corpus sought for Australian and British nationals held on Guantanamo Bay, press release, New York, 19 February 2002.

14 March 2002 The Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, says it has not been decided whether Mr Hicks would be brought back to Australia to be tried under Australian law, as complex legal matters need to be resolved first. The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Detention of David Hicks, doorstop interview, Perth,
14 January 2002.
Rules and procedures for Military Commissions issued
21 March 2002 Donald Rumsfeld issues rules and procedures for US Military Commissions to try non-US citizens in the war against terrorism. These are issued in accordance with the President s Military Order released on 13 November 2001.

US Department of Defense, Military Commission Order No. 1 , 21 March 2002.

15 April 2002 Amnesty International sends the US Government an International Memorandum that outlines the organisation s concerns under international law and standards relating to detainees in US custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Amnesty International, Memorandum to the US Government on the rights of people in US custody in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay ,
15 April 2002.
Mamdouh Habib confirmed in US custody
18 April 2002 The US advises the Australian Government that an Australian citizen, Mamdouh Habib, is being held by the US military in Afghanistan. The Government says it believes Mr Habib was moved to Egypt following his arrest in Pakistan. The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Mamdouh Habib in United States custody, joint news release, 18 April 2002.
1 May 2002 The Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, states that US officials have assured him that the AFP, ASIO and Australian embassy will have access to David Hicks in the middle of this month. The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Doorstop interview , Washington DC,
1 May 2002.
3 May 2002 Daryl Williams, visiting in Washington, says that Mr Hicks is unlikely to be given access to lawyers. G. Alcorn and C. Banham, Terrorist suspects denied lawyers by US , Sydney Morning Herald, 3 May 2002.
6 May 2002 Advice is received from the US Government that Mamdouh Habib was transferred to Guantanamo Bay on 4 May 2002. Australian officials will now have access to him. The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Mamdouh Habib transferred to Guantanamo Bay, media release, 6 May 2002.
9 May 2002 The Shadow Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, criticises the Government for not making any consular visits to Mr Hicks and Mr Habib. Kevin Rudd, MP Lack of Government action on Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, media release, 9 May 2002.
10 May 2002 An editorial calls for Mr Hicks and Mr Habib to be returned to Australia and dealt with according to Australian law. Editorial, Bring Hicks, Habib home to justice , Sydney Morning Herald,
10 May 2002.
11 May 2002 In a telephone interview with Mr Habib s Australian lawyer, Stephen Hopper, a German detainee alleges that an Australian official sent to interview Mr Habib, mocked Mr Habib. The Government rejects the allegations. C. Kremmer, Habib was mocked in official visit , Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 2002.
14 May 2002 Australian officials from DFAT, ASIO and the AFP arrive at Guantanamo Bay to interview Mr Hicks and Mr Habib. The team will also assess their welfare. The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, and The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, Investigating Team Visit to Guantanamo Bay, joint media release, 14 May 2002.
24 May 2002

Mr Hicks and Mr Habib are being treated well according to the Australian investigation team that visited Guantanamo Bay.

The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib treated well, joint news release,
23 May 2002.

Claims of maltreatment

25 May 2002

Mr Hicks and Mr Habib claim to have been maltreated. Mr Hicks s lawyer, Stephen Kenny, says a bribe of early release was offered to Mr Hicks in return for his cooperation. Mr Habib claims to have been blindfolded for the last six months.

M. Forbes and P. Debelle, Cuba detainees claim maltreatment , The Age, 25 May 2002.
4 July 2002

The US Ambassador to Australia, Thomas Schieffer, compares Mr Hicks and Mr Habib to Nazi war criminals.

L. Wright, Aust terror suspects as bad as Nazis: US envoy , Canberra Times,
4 July 2002.
6 July 2002

Mr Habib s lawyer, Stephen Hopper, confirms a Wall Street Journal article which claimed that Mr Habib tried to help two terrorist suspects.

L. Wright, Terror suspect sought funds for jailed extremists , Canberra Times,
6 July 2002.
11 July 2002

Professor Don Rothwell states that in 99 per cent of situations, an Australian national being investigated like this would have seen outrage both from the Government and the Australian public. Alexander Downer and Daryl Williams comment that this detention is an inevitable consequence of being involved in terrorism.

Speakers on The 7.30 Report include: Maha Habib (Mr Habib s wife), Professor Don Rothwell, Prime Minister John Howard, Alexander Downer (Minister for Foreign Affairs), Daryl Williams (Attorney-General), Thomas Schieffer (US Ambassador) and Stephen Hopper.

ABC TV, Govt still unmoved by Habib s incarceration , The 7.30 Report, 11 July 2002.
2 August 2002

US judge rejects the bid for a writ of habeas corpus as brought by Joe Margulies (Mr Hicks s and Mr Habib s US civilian lawyer) and other American attorneys. This means that Mr Hicks has also lost his application to meet with lawyers and family.

R. Eccleston and A. McGarry, US Judge refuses Hicks bid for trial , The Australian, 2 August 2002.
20 August 2002

The Australian Bar Association and the Australian Lawyers for Human Rights accuse the Federal Government of failing Mr Hicks and Mr Habib, who have been held captive for the last nine months without charge or access to lawyers.

C. Bantham, Lawyers demand fair go for Hicks, Habib , Sydney Morning Herald, 20 August 2002.
26 September 2002

The International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme commences in Australia.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, and Senator The Hon. Chris Ellison, Australia and Thailand ratify prisoner exchange treaty, joint media release, 26 September 2002.
4 December 2002

Lawyers acting for Mr Hicks and Mr Habib launch a legal bid against their clients indefinite detention without trial.

M. Wilkinson, and P. Debelle, US court plea for Australians , The Age, 4 December 2002.
Back to top

2003

11 January 2003

After almost a year since Senator Hill said the US would like to see Australia prosecute its own citizens in Australia under Australian law, a spokesman for the Attorney-General says investigations are continuing and it is not appropriate to speculate about when the investigations will finish.

G. Alcorn, The Australian left to rot behind bars , The Age, 11 January 2003.

Senator The Hon. Robert Hill, Doorstop interview, Washington DC,
10 January 2002.

15 January 2003

The Shadow spokesman for Justice and Customs, Daryl Melham, says that the Australian Government has abandoned the fundamental legal and human rights principle of not detaining a person without charge.

Daryl Melham, MP, Principle left to rot in a foreign cell , The Australian,
15 January 2003.
5 March 2003

Concern is raised that western values like access to lawyers and interrogation without torture, are being sacrificed to provide adequate security.

Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre, says there is no greater challenge for Australia and like-minded countries than the need to provide adequate security without sacrificing the central values that make us who we are .

M. Grattan, Terrorism torments our values , The Age, 5 March 2003.
17 March 2003

US ambassador, Thomas Schieffer, says it is likely that Mr Hicks will be detained until the war on terrorism is over.

AAP, Hicks held until war is over , The Australian,
17 March 2003
18 March 2003

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, responds to eleven questions on notice submitted by the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, on 4 February 2003 regarding the military detention of David Hicks.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Military Detention: Mr David Hicks , House of Representatives, Question on Notice, Question No. 1313, 18 March 2003.
24 March 2003

Australian Greens Senator, Kerry Nettle, calls for the release of Mr Hicks and Mr Habib in light of the release of 19 Afghan detainees. She also calls for Australia to demand that Geneva Conventions apply both in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Kerry Nettle, Geneva Conventions needed in Iraq and Camp X-Ray, media release, 24 March 2003.
2 April 2003

The Report on Military Commissions for the Trial of Terrorists authored by the American College of Trial Lawyers, raises issues about Military Commission procedures.

American College of Trial Lawyers, Report on Military Commissions for the Trial of Terrorists, March 2003.
18 April 2003

The President of the Law Council of Australia accuses the Federal Government of acquiescing to the apparent US Government view that legal process is an unwanted constraint on government power when it comes to terrorism.

I. Munro, Lawyer hits Government s reaction to terrorism , The Age, 18 April 2003.

Military Commission instructions issued

2 May 2003

The US Department of Defense issues eight Military Commission instructions that will facilitate the conduct of possible future Military Commissions.

United States Department of Defense, DoD issues Military Commission Instructions, news release, 2 May 2003.
6 May 2003

Democrats Senator, Brian Greig, repeats call to release Mr Hicks. He claims there is a double standard regarding the use of the Geneva Convention principle by the Government.

Senator Brian Greig, Democrats repeat call for Hicks release, media release, 6 May 2003.
7 May 2003

Mr Hicks and Mr Habib are not expected to be among 13 Guantanamo Bay detainees to be released. According to Mr Downer, Mr Hicks is alleged to have been involved with both
al-Qaeda and the Taliban .

C. Banham and M. Wilkinson, Australian prisoners to stay put in Camp Delta , Sydney Morning Herald,
7 May 2003.
19 May 2003

An editorial claims that the Australian Government has failed Mr Hicks and Mr Habib. It states there have been reports that the US is willing to release Mr Hicks and Mr Habib into Australian custody, but that Australian authorities are reluctant to receive them because they would not be able to prosecute them.

Editorial, Sycophancy is shameful , Canberra Times, 19 May 2003.
22 May 2003

Military Commission officials are announced.

United States Department of Defense, Key Military Commission officials announced, news release, 22 May 2003.

Six detainees to face Military Commissions

3 June 2003 President Bush determines six (unnamed) Guantanamo detainees to be enemy combatants who will be subject to his military order of 13 November 2001. United States Department of Defense, President determines enemy combatants subject to his Military Order, news release, 3 July 2003.
6 July 2003

A columnist laments the apparent disregard for the September 11 and Bali attack victims by Mr Hicks s supporters who decry the Military Commission form of justice. He claims there is enough evidence to show that Mr Hicks was an al-Qaeda member, if not a member of the Taliban.

P. Akerman Hicks gets justice, but victims didn t , Sunday Telegraph,
6 July 2003.
10 July 2003

The Law Council of Australia urges the Federal Government to seek a normal criminal trial for David Hicks, noting that an American captured in Afghanistan, John Walker Lindh, has been tried in the US under normal criminal law and sentenced to 20 years jail for helping the Taliban.

T. Stephens, Top legal body pushes civilian trial for Hicks , Sydney Morning Herald,
10 July 2003.
10 July 2003

The Shadow Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, questions the Attorney-General s claim that every possible effort is being made to ensure the fundamental guarantees of normal criminal processes will apply to Mr Hicks.

Robert McClelland, MP, Hicks trial will not be justice as we know it , The Age,
10 July 2003.
13 July 2003

The following persons appear on a radio programme, Background Briefing, to talk about their response to the news that Mr Hicks is one of the six detainees who will be tried by a Military Commission process:

  • Lt.-Col Barry Johnson, spokesperson for the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay, who describes detainee facilities and aspects of detention and admits there have been 28 suicide attempts by 18 detainees;
  • Ruth Wedgwood, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, US, who says the Military Commission process is sound; and
  • Joe Margulies, Mr Hicks s US civilian lawyer who claims there is a core of evidence that may be used in the Military Commission process that could be unknown to the detainee and his civilian lawyer.

Other speakers include: Hilary Charlesworth (Director, Centre for International and Public Law, ANU); Terry Hicks (David Hicks s father); Prime Minister John Howard; Stephen Kenny (David Hicks s Australian lawyer); Daniel Cavoli (former Head of Mission, Guantanamo Bay); David Cole (Professor, Law Centre, Georgetown University, US); Carl Crips (friend of David Hicks); Kerry Crips (friend of David Hicks); Louise Fletcher (friend of David Hicks); Adam Roberts (Professor of International Relations, Oxford University).

ABC Radio National, David Hicks: human rights on trial , Background Briefing, 13 July 2003.
19 July 2003

Prime Minister John Howard does not expect that the Australian detainees will be repatriated as there may not be laws to prosecute them in Australia. He is confident of ensuring that the Military Commission procedures will be compatible with Australian processes.

The Hon. John Howard, MP, Doorstop interview, Gwangyang Bay, Korea, 19 July 2003.
21 July 2003

A Freedom of Information request by The Australian in April to view government documents and cables relating to the Hicks case is denied. The Government claims that the information, if released, could damage relations with Washington.

M. McKinnon,. et al., Canberra blocks FOI request on legality of Hicks decision , The Australian, 21 July 2003.
23 July 2003

The General Counsel of the US Department of Defense meets with an Australian delegation led by Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, to discuss and review potential options for the disposition of Australian detainee cases.

United States Department of Defense, DoD statement on Australian detainee meetings, news release, 23 July 2003.

Concessions granted in Mr Hicks s case

24 July 2003

Successful talks with the high-level Australian delegation achieve a number of critical outcomes for David Hicks with respect to the conduct of any Military Commission trials:

  • the US has assured Australia it will not seek the death penalty in Mr Hicks s case;
  • Australia and the US have agreed to work towards putting arrangements in place to transfer Mr Hicks to Australia, if convicted, to serve any penal sentence in Australia in accordance with Australian and US law;
  • an Australian lawyer with appropriate security clearances may be retained as a consultant to Mr Hicks s legal team at Mr Hicks s request, following approval of Military Commission charges. Mr Hicks s direct contact with such a lawyer will be further discussed with US authorities;
  • conversations between Mr Hicks and his lawyers will not be monitored by the US, despite this being allowed in some circumstances by Military Commission rules;
  • the prosecution in Mr Hicks s case does not intend to rely on evidence requiring closed proceedings from which the accused could be excluded;
  • subject to any necessary security restrictions, Mr Hicks s trial will be open, the media will be present, and Australian officials may observe proceedings; and
  • the US will work on ways to allow Mr Hicks additional contact with his family, including via telephone, following approval of Military Commission charges.
The Hon. Daryl Williams, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Delegation concludes successful talks on David Hicks, joint press release, 24 July 2003.
26 July 2003 Polling shows that the popularity of Prime Minister Howard has not suffered despite there being no evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It is claimed the poll indicates that the Hicks and Habib cases are essentially only of concern to civil libertarians, family members and human rights advocates. C. Stewart, The secret life of us , Weekend Australian, 26 July 2003.
5 August 2003

The Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Justice and Community Security, Robert McClelland, calls on the Government to resolve allegations against Mr Habib in a prompt and fair legal process, as it is over 20 months since Mr Habib was originally detained.

Robert McClelland, MP, Mamdouh Habib still in legal limbo, media release,
5 August 2003.
6 August 2003

The Forum on Australia s Islamic Relations (FAIR) is planning to raise support from other Islamic groups to pressure the Government for Mr Habib s and Mr Hicks s release. It is also reported that:

the NSW Police Protective Security Group, which shares information with ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, had cleared Mr Habib as a violent threat to government authorities, one month before his detention in Pakistan in October 2001.

L. Morris, Islamic forum to pressure Government on Habib , Sydney Morning Herald,
6 August 2003.
20 August 2003

In interviews with Amnesty International, former detainees of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and Bagram air base in Afghanistan claim that they were subject to ill-treatment which included hooding, blindfolding, shackling and sleep deprivation.

T. Branigin,. Former terror detainees accuse US of ill-treatment , The Age, 20 August 2003.
12 September 2003

US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, comments:

Our interest is not in trying them and letting them out Our interest is in during this global war on terror keeping them off the streets, and so that s what s taking place.

The Attorney-General, Daryl Williams, says that the Australian Government is in discussions with the US about Mr Habib s future.

T. Allard, US detainees face years without trial , Sydney Morning Herald,
12 September 2003.
Torture allegations
8 October 2003

The Shadow Minister for Justice and Community Security says that the allegations of torture of detainees in Guantanamo Bay should be investigated.

Robert McClelland, MP, Torture allegations, media release, 8 October 2003.
9 October 2003

Australian lawyer, Richard Bourke, who works with detainees in Guantanamo Bay, says the detainees are being tortured.

Lawyer claims Aust terror suspects tortured , Canberra Times, 9 October 2003.
22 October 2003

Australian Democrats spokesperson for Attorney-General and Justice, Senator Brian Greig, says Mr Howard should convince President Bush, during his visit to Australia, to send Mr Hicks and Mr Habib home.

Senator Brian Greig, Howard must insist George Bush sends Hicks and Habib home, media release, 22 October 2003.
23 October 2003

Mr Habib s wife, Maha, has written an open letter to President George Bush urging him to either charge her husband or free him.

S. Morris, Charge him or free him: Habib s wife , The Australian,
23 October 2003.
23 October 2003

Immediately following President Bush s address to a joint sitting of the Parliament, Richard Bourke, the Australian Human Rights lawyer assisting David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, elaborates on torture claims he previously made. He also disputes the Government s claims that Mr Habib and Mr Hicks cannot be tried here.

Brendan O Connor, MHR, Human Rights Lawyer tells parliamentarians that government claims on Hicks and Habib are wrong, media alert, 23 October 2003.
25 November 2003

The Australian Government reaches an understanding with the US about procedures that would apply to possible Military Commissions for Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Government accepts Military Commissions for Guantanamo Bay detainees, joint news release, 25 November 2003.

United States Department of Defense, US and Australia announce agreements on Guantanamo detainees, news release, 25 November 2003.

3 December 2003

The US Department of Defense announces that Australian detainee, David Hicks, has been assigned a military defense counsel, Major Michael Mori.

United States Department of Defense, DoD assigns legal counsel for Guantanamo detainee, news release,

3 December 2003.

Back to top

2004

1 January 2004

The Pentagon appoints a retired army general, John Altenburg, to oversee the Military Commission process, including approving the charges against accused persons. This is the last major step in the process before a detainee can be brought to trial before the Military Commission.

E. Schrader, Military set for terror suspect trials , The Age,
1 January 2004.
10 January 2004

Eighty-five British MPs and fifty Peers are to file an unprecedented brief in the US Supreme Court in support of the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Sixteen detainees are seeking to have their cases heard in an impartial civilian court.

C. Dyer, MPs and peers in Camp Delta plea , The Guardian, 10 January 2004.
16 January 2004

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, responds to a call by the Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, to bring Mr Hicks and Mr Habib back to Australia, saying that:

The Government has been advised that Mr Hicks and Mr Habib could not be prosecuted successfully in Australia in relation to their activities in Afghanistan or Pakistan under Australian laws that applied at the time.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Labor advocates no trial for terrorism suspects, media release,
16 January 2004.
16 February 2004

In a Senate Estimates hearing, the Assistant Secretary of the Security Law and Justice Branch of the Attorney-General s Department, Keith Holland, responds to several questions from Senator Bolkus about the Australian detainees health and detention arrangements. In particular, in answer to question 130 it was stated that on 23 October 2002, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) advised that neither Mr Hicks nor Mr Habib could be prosecuted for their activities in
Pakistan and Afghanistan. On 2 February 2004, the CDPP advised that Mr Hicks could not be prosecuted for his activities in Kosovo.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, Estimates,
16 February 2004, pp. 71 78.

Answers to questions on notice (incl no. 130)

19 February 2004

The Attorney-General announces that the International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997 will be amended to facilitate the transfer to Australia of any Australian citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay who is convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment by a US Military Commission.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Expansion of International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme, media release,
19 February 2004.
4 March 2004

The US advises Australia that the charges against Mr Hicks and Mr Habib would mainly revolve around their alleged training activities with al-Qaeda.

AAP and P. Debelle, Hicks and Habib deeply involved, says Ruddock , The Age, 4 March 2004.
10 March 2004

Australian Democrats Senator, Brian Greig, asks why five British detainees have been freed while Mr Hicks and Mr Habib remain in Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Brian Greig, British detainees freed from Guantanamo while Aussies stay put, media release,
10 March 2004.
23 March 2004 The International Transfer of Prisoners Amendment Act 2004 commences. It makes amendments to the International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997 to enable Hicks and Habib, if convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by US Military Commission, to be transferred to Australia to serve their sentences here. International Transfer of Prisoners Amendment Act 2004
20 April 2004

An appeal is received by the US District Court from detainees at Guantanamo Bay who are appealing the question of whether or not Guantanamo Bay is within the jurisdiction of the US.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Shafiq Rasul, et al. v George Walker Bush, et al., 17 August 2004.
10 May 2004

It is reported that harsh interrogation methods were approved for the interrogation of Guantanamo Bay detainees by senior Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Harsh methods approved in Guantanamo Bay , Canberra Times,
10 May 2004.
Government denies any knowledge of harsh interrogation techniques
11 May 2004

The Attorney-General claims that the Federal Government has no knowledge of torture having been used in the interrogation of the two Australians at Guantanamo Bay.

K. Gauntlett, We know nothing of torture: Ruddock , West Australian,
11 May 2004.
11 May 2004

The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, dismisses fears that the abuses that happened in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq could be happening in Guantanamo Bay. Representatives of many of the countries with detainees have visited from time to time.

US Department of State, Powell to discuss prisoner abuse, Gaza with Arab leaders ,
11 May 2004.
12 May 2004

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, says the Prime Minister and he have gone out of their way to check that there have been no abuses in the interrogation of Mr Hicks and Mr Habib. He says he welcomes any information that Major Mori (US lawyer for Mr Hicks) has on the issue.

ABC TV, Foreign Minister discusses treatment of Australian detainees at Guantanamo Bay , Lateline,
12 May 2004.
13 May 2004

Mr Hicks s Australian lawyer, Stephen Kenny, expresses surprise that Alexander Downer and the Prime Minister are not aware of the details of the Red Cross reports that have been a source of information about alleged abuses at Guantanamo Bay.

ABC Radio, Hicks victim of orchestrated abuse: lawyer, Stephen Kenny , PM, 13 May 2004.
15 May 2004

Freed Britons Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal say they were subjected to torture while detained in Guantanamo Bay. They claim to have been subjected to threatening dogs and freezing temperatures, and made to stand naked.

AP, Free men say Cuba treatment like Iraq , Canberra Times, 15 May 2005.
17 May 2004

Prime Minister John Howard dismisses claims that Mr Hicks and Mr Habib have been subjected to torture as he has had confirmation of their well-being from the Australian ambassador and the Consul-General in Washington who visited them at Guantanamo Bay. This contradicts claims by the men s lawyers, Stephen Kenny and Stephen Hopper.

M. Shaw, PM rejects claims by Hicks, Habib , The Age,
17 May 2004.
20 May 2004

An annual review introduced by the Pentagon could result in Mr Habib being released. However, this policy would not apply to Mr Hicks, who is one of the six enemy combatants to be subject to a Military Commission trial.

R. Eccleston, Review gives Habib shot at freedom, The Australian, 20 May 2004.
20 May 2004

A Pakistani witness makes new allegations of assaults that took place on David Hicks in Afghanistan in 2001. However, Prime Minister John Howard is sceptical about these allegations as there has been no mention of this issue by the Red Cross or other visitors to the detainees. The abuse was apparently videotaped and Stephen Kenny wants a Congressional enquiry.

ABC Radio, Lawyer says Pakistani man claims David Hicks was abused in Afghanistan by US military , AM,
20 May 2004.
3 June 2004

In Washington, President Bush assures Mr Howard that David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib would be treated fairly.

President George W. Bush and The Hon. John Howard, MP, Remarks by the President at a joint press availability with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, joint press conference, 3 June 2004.
Charges against Mr Hicks announced
10 June 2004

The US Department of Defense announces that three charges have been approved against David Hicks, who will be tried by Military Commission: conspiracy to commit war crimes; attempted murder by an unprivileged belligerent; and aiding the enemy.

United States Department of Defense, Guantanamo detainee charged, news release, 10 June 2004.

Text of charge sheet

22 June 2004

The US Department of Defense releases documents detailing the discussions and decisions on issues relating to torture in the War on Terror, including a Department of Justice memorandum on torture to White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales.

US Department of State, White House releases documents on torture in war on terror , 23 June 2004.

Jay S. Bybee, (US) Assistant Attorney-General, Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation under 18 USC 2340 2340A , 1 August 2002.

Jay S. Bybee, (US) Assistant Attorney-General, Memorandum for Alberto R. Gonzales, Counsel to the President and William J. Haynes II, General Counsel of the Department of Defense Re: Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees ,
22 January 2002.
28 June 2004

The US Supreme Court asserts the right of judicial review for some 600 foreign inmates held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay and states that Americans and foreigners held as enemy combatants in the War on Terror cannot be held without some right of appeal.

US Department of State, White House Report June 30: Guantanamo Detainees, Iceland , 30 June 2004.
29 June 2004

The President of the Law Council of Australia, Bob Gotterson, says:

This [Supreme Court] judgment puts to rest US Government arguments that the Guantanamo Bay detention centre can operate outside the supervision of the US court system and beyond the reach of US law.

Law Council of Australia, Hicks and Habib win landmark case, media release, Canberra, 29 June 2004.
7 July 2004

The US Department of Defense announces the formation of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal for detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. This tribunal will serve as a forum for detainees to contest their status as enemy combatants.

United States Department of Defense, Combatant status review tribunal order issued, news release, 7 July 2004.
14 July 2004

Mr Ruddock says that US authorities have been urged by Mr Howard, the Justice Minister, the Foreign Minister and himself to pursue a fair trial for Mr Hicks and Mr Habib. Investigations into allegations of torture against the two have been commenced by the US Government.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Doorstop interview, 14 July 2004.
16 July 2004

The Pentagon responds to Red Cross concerns by creating an Office of Detainee Affairs. Red Cross reports were previously dealt with at field level but now they will be forwarded to this Office to be reviewed by a committee.

Special Defense Department Briefing on the International Committee of the Red Cross Report on Detainees, 16 July 2004.
22 July 2004

The Attorney-General sets out the reasons why Australia accepts the Military Commission trials for David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib and why Australia s response differs from the UK s response.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Legal responses to the threats of terrorism , speech to the Australian Branch of the Anglo-Australasian Lawyers Society, Sydney,
22 July 2004.
26 July 2004 Released detainees from Guantanamo Bay report on abuses at the detention camp. Tipton Report: Detention in Guantanamo Bay: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, 26 July 2004
Mr Hicks pleads not guilty
25 August 2004

At the military commission proceedings in Guantanamo Bay, Mr Hicks pleads not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to attack civilians and civilian objects, murder, destruction of property and terrorism .

US v Hicks transcript; For related documents for the hearings in August and November 2004 see the Military Commissions website;

K. T Rhem, Australian detainee pleads not guilty, meets with family , American Forces Information Service, 26 August 2004.

31 August 2004

Through his attorneys, David Hicks files an amended petition against President Bush and others for habeas corpus and other relief.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia, David M. Hicks, v. George W. Bush, et al., Second amended petition for writ of habeas corpus and complaint for injunctive, declaratory and other relief, 31 August 2004.
15 September 2004

Lex Lasry, QC, independent observer for the Law Council of Australia at David Hicks s initial hearing, releases a report which states that there is virtually no possibility of a fair trial through a Military Commission process at Guantanamo Bay.

Law Council of Australia Fair trial for Hicks impossible Law Council releases report, media release, 15 September 2004.

Lex Lasry, QC, United States v. David Matthew Hicks, First report of the independent legal observer for the Law Council of Australia September 2004 ,
30 August 2004.

Academic challenges claim that Mr Hicks and Mr Habib cannot be tried in Australia

27 September 2004

The Director of an International Law project at the University of New South Wales, Devika Hovell, says David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib can be tried in Australia under the International Criminal Court Act 2002 which expanded the offences recognised by the Australian Government.

D. Hovell, Hicks can, and should, be tried here , The Age, 27 September 2004.

International Criminal Court Act 2002

5 October 2004

US Brigadier General Martin Lucenti, the deputy commander of the US military unit that runs the base at Guantanamo Bay, announces that there is not enough evidence to prosecute most of the 550 detainees and that they are likely to be released or extradited.

Reuters (with P. Debelle), Most Guantanamo prisoners to be freed , The Age, 6 October 2004.
7 October 2004

The US releases documents claiming that Mamdouh Habib trained some of the September 11 hijackers, but Mr Habib s lawyer, Stephen Hopper, rejects this.

ABC TV, US claims Habib trained 9/11 hijackers , Lateline,
7 October 2004.
18 October 2004

Mr Hicks argues unsuccessfully that the President s Military Order is unlawful on the grounds that Congress alone has the constitutional authority to establish Military Commissions and that therefore the Military Commissions should be dismissed.

United States of America v. David M. Hicks, Prosecution response to defense motion to dismiss,
18 October 2004.
21 October 2004

As a result of challenges made by Mr Hicks s lawyers in pre-trial hearings, the US Military Commission Panel at Guantanamo Bay is reduced from five members to three members.

US Department of Defense, Military Commission panel changes announced, news release,
21 October 2004.
22 October 2004

US District Court judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, rules that Guantanamo detainees should have access to their lawyers and that their conversations should not be monitored although the ruling applies only to three Kuwaitis.

C. Leonnig, Detainees must be given access to lawyers , The Age, 22 October 2004.
22 October 2004

An article states that 202 Guantanamo Bay detainees have been returned to their homelands. Of that group, 146 were freed outright, and 56 were transferred to the custody of their home governments. At least 10 of these have been recaptured or killed in clashes with Coalition forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

J. Mintz, Released detainees are joining the fight , Washington Post,
22 October 2004.
23 October 2004

The reduction in panel numbers is a disadvantage according to Mr Hicks s US civilian lawyer, Josh Dratel, as it gives more power to the presiding officer.

AAP, Hicks case is worse after panel cut: lawyer , The Age, 23 October 2004.
1-3 November 2007 Military Commission hearing reconvenes from 25 August hearing. US v Hicks transcript
3 November 2004

Comments and analysis by Devika Hovell, Director of the International Law Project at the Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales, include the claim that the Australian Government has been wrong to insist that David Hicks cannot be tried in Australia.

D. Hovell, Hicks stays in the US system thanks only to a wilful legal oversight , Sydney Morning Herald,
3 November 2004.
3 November 2004

The Military Commission panel denies Mr Hicks s request to bring in expert witnesses on international law before the trial scheduled for January 2005 commences.

P. Debelle and C. Banham, Hicks denied expert witnesses , Sydney Morning Herald,
3 November 2004.
5 November 2004

Lawyers for Mr Hicks gain more time for his defence, to allow full and fair proceedings. The trial scheduled for 10 January is now to be held on 15 March 2005.

P. Dodds, More time for Hicks defence , Daily Telegraph,
5 November 2004
8 November 2004

A US Federal Court Judge rules that a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, should be treated as a prisoner-of-war unless a competent tribunal determines he is not entitled to POW status. This is perceived as a boost to Mr Hicks s defence team because it is believed to back up the view that Military Commissions cannot be supported.

Hamdan v Rumsfeld (District Court 04-1519)

R. Dalton and A. McGarry, US court boosts Hicks s defence , The Australian,
10 November 2004.

25 November 2004

Lawyers for detainees in Guantanamo Bay request that the US Supreme Court intervenes quickly to settle the legality of the Military Commissions. It could have the consequence of putting on hold the trial against Mr Hicks and causing the Military Commission process to be abandoned.

C. Leonnig and M. Forbes, Court bid may wreck US terror trials , The Age,
25 November 2004.

Red Cross alleges torture of detainees

29 November 2004

A report by the International Committee of the Red Cross concerning allegations of torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees is leaked to the New York Times.

N.A. Lewis, Red Cross finds detainee abuse in Guantanamo, New York Times,
29 November 2004.
1 December 2004

Details of torture are obtained by the New York Times. It is described as a system devised to break the will of prisoners through humiliating acts, solitary confinement, temperature extremes and use of forced positions.

AFP, Torture exposed at Guantanamo , The Australian,
1 December 2004.
1 December 2004

The Australian Government is accused of turning a blind eye to torture.

AAP, A-G turning blind eye to torture , The News Online, cited in www.fairgofordavid.org, 1 December 2004.
2 December 2004

It is suggested that Mr Hicks may be delayed for years in detention because of complex legal arguments in the US courts.

D. Clarke, Years of delay in trial of Hicks , Adelaide Advertiser,
2 December 2004.
2 December 2004

Mamdouh Habib tells military panel officers that during interrogations, he made statements under torture that could be used as evidence.

M. Wilkinson and C. Banham, Torture made me talk, says Habib , Sydney Morning Herald,
3 December 2004.
4 December 2004

Mr Hicks s US lawyer says the validity of the Military Commission trial should be questioned in an enquiry in Australia. It is claimed that evidence obtained during torture can be used against detainees in a military system, and Australia is the only country that has not questioned the validity of this system.

F. Shiel, Hicks US lawyer calls for inquiry , The Age,
4 December 2004.
6 December 2004

Mr Ruddock continues to accept the US statement that David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib have not been subject to torture and have been treated humanely at Guantanamo Bay.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Nicola: torture is not acceptable nor is verballing, media release, 6 December 2004.
8 December 2004

A senior FBI official claims in a letter that the Pentagon has not acted on FBI complaints of mistreatment and aggressive interrogation of Guantanamo Bay detainees since February 2002.

AP, FBI letter blows lid on abuse , The Australian, 8 December 2004.
Back to top

2005

3 January 2005

Arrangements are being made for longer term detention of unlawful enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. According to White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan:

the Defense Department is making the living conditions at Guantanamo more suitable for longer-term detention which he described as a different phase in the holding of what he termed unlawful enemy combatants in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

US Department of State, US prepares for longer-term detentions at Guantanamo Bay ,
3 January 2005.
5 January 2005

It is reported that White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, helped draft a legal review as to how much pain and suffering can be inflicted on a prisoner to extract intelligence without an officer being in breach of laws which prohibit and penalise the use of torture. As a result of the review, a torture memo authorising certain actions was drafted.

R. J. Smith, and D. Eggen, Gonzales helped set the course for detainees , Washington Post,
5 January 2005
6 January 2005

Mr Ruddock states that no Australian official witnessed any abuse or torture of Mamdouh Habib.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Mamdouh Habib, doorstop interview,
6 January 2005.
7 January 2005

In a Declaration to the United States, District Court for the District of Columbia signed 23 November 2004, Mr Habib s American lawyer, Joe Margulies, outlines claims of brutality suffered by Mr Habib in Pakistan and Egypt.

M. Wilkinson, Australian official saw torture, Habib alleges , Sydney Morning Herald,
7 January 2005.
8 January 2005 The US Government and Alberto Gonzales, Bush s top legal adviser, face questions at a US Senate committee hearing on the policy of rendition, torture techniques and the lack of application of the Geneva Convention. R. Eccleston, Under interrogation , Weekend Australian, 8 January 2005.
Mr Habib s release announced
11 January 2005

Mr Ruddock announces the decision by the US not to charge Mr Habib, despite him being regarded as an enemy combatant. Instead, he will be repatriated to Australia as requested by the Australian Government, but will remain of security interest.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Statement on Mamdouh Habib, joint media release, 11 January 2005.
12 January 2005

President of the Law Council of Australia, Stephen Southwood, says the Australian Government cannot claim to have dealt with Mamdouh Habib s case expeditiously and fairly. He says Mr Habib and his family have a right to feel aggrieved at his treatment by both Australian and US authorities.

Law Council of Australia, Habib freed after three years in legal limbo, media release,
12 January 2005.
12 January 2005

Mr Ruddock responds to accusations of having failed in the duty of care for an Australian citizen abroad who was detained for three years with no charges being laid against him. In justifying Mr Habib s long detention, Mr Ruddock says:

The US considers Mr Habib to be an enemy combatant who has been detained in accordance with the laws of war.

ABC TV, Mamdouh Habib remains a person of security concern: Ruddock , The 7.30 Report,
12 January 2005.
13 January 2005

The trial of David Hicks may be delayed by up to three years, according to his lawyer Stephen Kenny, because of expected appeals to the ruling in the case of Osama bin Laden s driver, Salim Hamdan. The appeal to the US Supreme Court will cause further delays.

Lawyer warns of delay for Hicks trial , Daily Telegraph,
12 January 2005.
13 January 2005

Professor Don Rothwell, Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law at the University of Sydney and Professor Peter Bailey, international human rights law expert at the Australian National University, say Mamdouh Habib has no chance of winning compensation from the Australian Government.

D. Seale, Prospects of compensation are virtually nil: law experts , Canberra Times, 13 January 2005.
13 January 2005

Mr Ruddock and Mamdouh Habib s Australian lawyer, Stephen Hopper, comment on whether Mr Habib should be able to live free without constant monitoring.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, and Stephen Hopper, The Debate: should Mamdouh Habib be free to live without constant monitoring upon his return to Australia? , Daily Telegraph,
13 January 2005.
13 January 2005

Prime Minister John Howard says that Mr Habib will not be receiving an apology or compensation.

AAP, Habib won t get apology, says PM , Canberra Times, 13 January 2005.
13 January 2005

Stephen Hopper and Joe Margulies (Mr Habib s Australian and American lawyers respectively) explore the possibilities of seeking damages for injustices suffered by Mr Habib.

M. Pelly, Someone must pay for injustice Hopper , Sydney Morning Herald, 13 January 2005.
13 January 2005

An editorial outlines what it claims are violations of legal principles by the US and Australian Governments, some of which date back to the Magna Carta.

Editorial, Australia must close this dark legal chapter , The Age, 13 January 2005.
13 January 2005

Lawyers for David Hicks, Major Michael Mori and Stephen Kenny, call for Mr Hicks to be freed.

M. Kemp and AAP, Call for Hicks to be freed , Adelaide Advertiser, 13 January 2005.
15 January 2005

In December 2004, the Bush Administration released a June 2004 report by the FBI on torture of prisoners under interrogation in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now an Australian journalist suggests the report has implications for the Howard Government.

M. Wilkinson, Are we all torturers now? , The Age,
15 January 2005.
15 January 2005

In a pre-prepared written answer to a Question on Notice just received by the Opposition, Mr Ruddock states that charges are expected to be laid against Mamdouh Habib by the US soon later the same day, he announces Mr Habib s impending release.

O. Guerrera, Habib move a shock for Ruddock says Labor , The Age, 15 January 2005.
15 January 2005

It is suggested that the release of Mamdouh Habib will raise questions the Howard Government must answer exactly why was he arrested, what knowledge did the Australian Government have of his rendition to Egypt and why are the US authorities letting him go?

M. Harvey, Disgrace in slow release , Herald Sun,
15 January 2005.
15 January 2005 A journalist accuses Mr Howard, Mr Ruddock and Mr Williams of rejecting core values of liberty in the case of Mr Habib. C. Hull, Dangerous daze in shocking erosion of core values of liberty , Canberra Times, 15 January 2005.
16 January 2005

An editorial criticises detention at Guantanamo Bay.

Editorial, Harsh symbolism of Guantanamo Bay , Independent Weekly,
16 January 2005.
21 January 2005

The Attorney-General states that Mamdouh Habib will not be on a scheduled commercial flight home as there could be an issue if, as an unrestrained person, Mr Habib claims asylum in another country where the plane lands.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Doorstop interview, 21 January 2005.
Government attempts to prevent Mr Habib profiting from his experience
25 January 2005

Mr Ruddock is to seek advice on whether the Proceeds of Crime legislation could be used to stop Mr Habib profiting from his detention at Guantanamo Bay.

M. Chulov, Habib won t profit from ordeal , The Australian,
25 January 2005.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002: An Act to provide for confiscation of the proceeds of crime, and for other purposes

25 January 2005

US officials confirm self-injury and suicide attempts by detainees at Guantanamo Bay:

In total there were 350 "self-harm" incidents at the camp during 2003, the military said. Last year there were 110 self-harm incidents.

D. Teather, Suicide protest at Camp Delta , Guardian,
25 January 2005.
27 January 2005

Mr Habib s lawyer, Stephen Hopper, details for the first time the atrocities his client claims to have endured while in detention at Guantanamo Bay.

T. McLean, Prostitute tortured Habib: lawyer , Canberra Times,
27 January 2005.
27 January 2005

Stephen Hopper, Mr Ruddock, and media representatives debate the possible legal issue of profiting from crime if Mamdouh Habib sells his story to the media.

ABC TV Mamdouh Habib released from Guantanamo Bay , The 7.30 Report,
27 January 2005.
27 January 2005

An editorial suggests that It would be a dangerous precedent to gag any Australian when there is insufficient evidence to lay criminal charges .

Editorial; Lack of conviction , Herald Sun, 27 January 2005.
28 January 2005

The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, comments that torture is not acceptable for any enemy and believes that the US is trying to conduct interrogations in a manner which is consistent with our dignity .

The Hon. Kim Beazley, MP Leadership of the ALP, news conference, Canberra, 28 January 2005.
Mamdouh Habib arrives back in Australia
28 January 2005

Mr Ruddock and Mr Downer release a statement announcing Mamdouh Habib s arrival in Australia. As current offences of being a member of a terrorist organisation did not exist when Mr Habib was first detained, he is not likely to be prosecuted. He will however, remain of security interest.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, and The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Mamdouh Habib arrives in Australia, media release,
28 January 2005.

US Department of Defense, Transfer of Australian Detainee Complete, news release, 28 January 2005.

29 January 2005

Associated Press obtains a draft manuscript by a former US army sergeant, Erik Saar, who worked as a translator at Guantanamo Bay. In line with similar claims made by Mr Habib, the manuscript details allegations that the US military used women as part of physical and psychological coercion and in an attempt to sexually degrade detainees.

P. Dodds, AP, Female interrogators taunted terror suspects , Weekend Australian,
29 January 2005.
31 January 2005

Sydney barristers Ian Barker and Robert Toner, accuse Mr Ruddock of indifference to the treatment of the two Australian prisoners in American hands, listing his alleged failures as Attorney-General.

I. Barker and R. Toner, Nation s guardian of liberty turns his back , Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January 2005.
31 January 2005

Mr Habib s lawyers, Joe Margulies and Stephen Hopper, say Mr Habib has grounds to seek compensation from the US Government for his detention.

C. Marriner, Habib has grounds to sue: lawyers , The Age,
31 January 2005.
31 January 2005

A US Federal District Court Judge, Joyce Hens Green, rules that the special military tribunals used to determine the legal status of detainees at Guantanamo Bay are illegal. According to the US Department of State:

Judge Joyce Hens Green of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the tribunals deny detainees constitutional legal rights such as the right to consult an attorney and to confront any evidence being used against them, and that the detainees had the right to have a U.S. court of law determine if they were lawfully detained.

This ruling conflicts with the judgement in another US Supreme Court a fortnight earlier which stated that the Guantanamo detainees did not have a right to have their detentions examined in federal court, a process known as a writ of habeas corpus . The two conflicting decisions will now have to be reconciled in a court of appeals.

US Department of State, Military tribunals a denial of detainees rights, Judge Rules,
1 February 2005.
1 February 2005

Mr Beazley advises media organisations not to pay for Mr Habib s story and says Mr Habib should not be made a hero.

M. Franklin, Don t buy story plea , Courier Mail,
1 February 2005.
2 February 2005

Mr Hicks s US lawyer, Major Michael Mori, says the 31 January US court ruling was a victory for his client and will eventually provide the best outcome.

A. McGarry, US court ruling buoys Hicks supporters , The Australian,
2 February 2005.
3 February 2005

William Morrison, a former Federal Defence Minister in the Whitlam Government, has befriended Mamdouh Habib and is appalled by the responses of both political parties.

C. Miranda, Whitlam minister s sanctuary for Habib , Daily Telegraph,
3 February 2005.
9 February 2005

The Prime Minister, Mr Howard, explains why Mr Hicks cannot be released, saying that Mr Hicks has been charged whereas Mr Habib was not.

The Hon. John Howard, MP, Transcript of Press Conference,
9 February 2005.
9 February 2005

Mr Habib s lawyer, Stephen Hopper, says he has applied to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for the return of Mr Habib s passport.

AAP, Howard reluctant to detail Habib action , Hobart Mercury,
9 February 2005.
10 February 2005

A Pentagon report, yet to be released, confirms allegations of sexual humiliation by female interrogators. Two female interrogators were apparently reprimanded by Department of Defense officials for their tactics.

C. Leonnig, and D. Priest, Detainees accuse female interrogators , Washington Post,
10 February 2005.
Mr Hicks dismisses his lawyer
10 February 2005

Mr Hicks dismisses his lawyer Stephen Kenny, apparently on account of his persistent attacks on the Australian Government. Mr Hicks is said to want a change of strategy.

P. Debelle, Hicks sacked lawyer vows to help , The Age,
10 February 2005.
13 February 2005

Mr Downer rejects the possibility of extraordinary rendition (although he does not use this term) having been used to send Mr Habib to Egypt and states that torture allegations are still being investigated by the US authorities.

For further information on the practice of transferring suspected terrorists to countries where they might be tortured, refer to the paper listed at right

Channel Nine, Interview with Alexander Downer, Sunday, 13 February 2005.

Association of the Bar of the City of New York & Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, Torture by Proxy: International and Domestic Law Applicable to Extraordinary Renditions , New York, ABCNY & NYU School of Law, 2004.

Mr Downer confirms Mr Habib s passport has been cancelled

14 February 2005 Mr Downer confirms in an answer to a Question Without Notice that on 25 January 2005 he instructed that, on advice from ASIO, Mr Habib s passport be cancelled and that a replacement not be issued. The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Mr Mamdouh Habib , Questions Without Notice, 14 February 2005, p. 40.
14 February 2005 Mr Habib is interviewed on the 60 Minutes programme, and although he makes allegations of torture, he does not respond to questions regarding his visit to Afghanistan in 2001. C. Banham, I m no terrorist but I won t say why I was there , Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 2005.
14 February 2005 Mr Ruddock again denies any Australian official witnessed any torture of Mr Habib. US officials are still being interviewed over whether Mr Habib was tortured. Egyptian officials deny Mr Habib was in Egypt. Sky TV News, Mamdouh Habib torture allegations , 14 February 2005.
14 February 2005 The Secretary of the Attorney-General s Department, Robert Cornall, AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty and Director-General of ASIO, Dennis Richardson, respond to questions from the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee. It was revealed that the Director of Public Prosecutions could find no evidence in 2002 and 2004 to bring charges against Hicks (see also answer to Estimates question 130 made 16 February 2004 above)

Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, Estimates Committee Transcripts , (Additional Estimates) ,
14 February 2005,
pp. 9 35.

Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, Estimates Committee Transcripts, (Additional Estimates) ,
15 February 2005, pp.9 16 and 25 30.

15 February 2005

The Director-General of ASIO, Dennis Richardson, backs AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty on his view that Mr Habib s claims of being kidnapped lack credibility.

ABC Radio, ASIO head backs Keelty on Habib kidnap allegations , The World Today,
15 February 2005.
15 February 2005

Dennis Richardson is reported saying that:

Mr Habib had spent time in Afghanistan with people who had a history of murdering innocent civilians .

The AFP Commissioner, Mick Keelty, describes Mr Habib acting almost as a mercenary . According to investigators, Mr Habib trained with LET (Lashkar-e-Taiba) and offered his services to al-Qaeda.

B. Nicholson and M. Forbes, Habib was a mercenary for Osama , The Age,
16 February 2005.
15 February 2005

Mr Downer admits to the possibility of Mr Habib being abused while in Egypt. However, Egyptian officials have not confirmed detaining Mr Habib.

B. Nicholson, Habib may have been abused in Egypt, Downer concedes , The Age, 15 February 2005.
15 February 2005

Jumana Musa, Amnesty International s legal observer at Guantanamo Bay, visits Australia to meet with Mr Ruddock. She claims that the legal process at Guantanamo Bay is not going to work, and that Australia is the only country which has accepted this process.

C. Banham, Amnesty attacks Hicks trial as sham justice , Sydney Morning Herald,
15 February 2005.
17 February 2005

The Attorney-General says the Government is taking the allegations of torture seriously. A broader independent inquiry by the (US) Naval Criminal Investigative Service is being conducted.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Letter: We didn t scoff at torture claims , The Age,
17 February 2005.
22 February 2005

Senior Government sources cite evidence from other detainees that Mr Hicks and Mr Habib trained in Kabul prior to 11 September 2001.

I. McPhedran, Habib trained before S11 , Herald Sun,
22 February 2005.
28 February 2005

The Law Council of Australia sends a letter to the Prime Minister raising its concerns with procedural issues of the Military Commission trials. The letter is also sent to the Attorney-General and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

J. North, President, Law Council of Australia, Letter to the Prime Minister 28 February 2005.
7 March 2005

The US military lawyer for Mr Hicks, Major Mori, says the Military Commission trial is legally flawed Mr Hicks and a handful of other detainees are being tried in the 21st century by a 1942 system.

P. Coorey, Hicks not getting fair trial: lawyer , Adelaide Advertiser, 7 March 2005.
8 March 2005

Stephen Freeland, Senior Lecturer in International Law at UNSW and Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, comments that the US Military Commission trials fall short of minimum standards that would apply to an American or Australian domestic court trial.

S. Freeland, All Australians, no matter where, have a right to a fair trial , Canberra Times, 8 March 2005.
9 March 2005

ASIO does not respond to allegations by Mr Habib that it disseminated intelligence on Mr Habib to the US, who in turn, it is alleged, shared it with Egyptian officials.

M. Wilkinson, ASIO fed information to my torturers, says Habib , Sydney Morning Herald,
9 March 2005.
14 March 2005

Joshua Dratel, lead defence counsel for Mr Hicks (and President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a member of the board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and co-editor of the book, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib) claims that the US Government sought to use a place like Guantanamo Bay to abrogate the requirements of the Geneva Convention. The book sets out the US Government s memoranda and reports that seek to justify the terms of detention and interrogation of prisoners in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq.

ABC Radio National, Late Night Live,
14 March 2005.
19 March 2005

Joshua Dratel is concerned that Mr Habib s evidence on Mr Hicks may be used in the Military Commission trial of Mr Hicks. He is concerned this evidence may have been obtained involuntarily.

M. Wilkinson, Habib evidence may be used against Hicks , Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 2005.
Government urges US to expedite Mr Hicks s trial
27 March 2005 Mr Ruddock says the Australian Government is maintaining high level representation to the US authorities to expedite the trial of Mr Hicks. Channel Nine, Interview with The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP , Sunday,
27 March 2005.
28 March 2005

The Federal Government is said to be seeking urgent assurances from the US that it has sufficient evidence to charge Mr Hicks.

T. Allard, US told: deliver Hicks proof , Sydney Morning Herald, 28 March 2005.
29 March 2005

Mr Hicks s defence team expresses concern that a German Islamic missionary, Murat Kurnaz, has been locked up for more than three years at Guantanamo Bay as an enemy combatant, despite the fact that both US and German security agencies found no links to al-Qaeda or terrorism.

G. Elliott, Hicks team locks on to hearsay claims , The Australian, 29 March 2005.
Mamdouh Habib dismisses his lawyer
7 April 2005

Mamdouh Habib sacks his lawyer, Stephen Hopper, but gives no reasons.

Freed detainee Habib sacks his lawyer , Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2005.
3 May 2005

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, confirms in Washington that Australia has been seeking Mr Hicks s prosecution as soon as possible the delay, however, is caused by the American courts considering applications for military tribunals to be disbanded.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Doorstop interview, New York, 3 May 2005.
3 May 2005

An editorial questions why an Australian Government seems to be prepared to surrender the rights of its citizens, Mr Hicks and Mr Habib, to a powerful ally s military justice system .

Editorial, Who can still call Australia home? , The Age,
3 May 2005.
4 May 2005

Mr Downer is assured by the US Government that there is a significant body of evidence that can be brought to bear in the case of Mr Hicks, which will stand up in court.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, Doorstop interview, Washington DC,
4 May 2005.
10 May 2005

Senator Kerry Nettle asks the Defence Minister, Senator Hill, how long the Australian Government will allow Mr Hicks to continue to be detained. The issue of Erik Saar, the interpreter who also alleged the mistreatment of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, is also raised.

Senator Kerry Nettle, Mr. David Hicks Senate, Question Without Notice, 10 May 2005, p.43.
13 May 2005 Amnesty International releases a report claiming that Guantanamo Bay is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of detainees from the War on Terror. It is claimed there are thousands believed held in secret and indefinite detention, in places such as Abu Ghraib, Camp Cropper, Camp Bucca, Bagram, Kandahar, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Amnesty International, Guantanamo Bay and beyond: there is continuing pursuit of unchecked executive power, 13 May 2005.
16 May 2005

A newspaper report claims there is a pattern of Federal Government political and administrative wickedness which is destroying any reputation Australia had for human rights. It claims the Government has done little to protect the rights of Mamdouh Habib and David Hicks.

G. Barker, Moral credibility all at sea , Australian Financial Review, 16 May 2005.
19 May 2005

Mr Hicks s former lawyer, Stephen Kenny, delivers the Sir Richard Blackburn lecture for 2005 on Hicks and the Geneva Convention he says the rule of law needs to be applied to those captured in conflict or we may be responsible for the plight of Australian Defence Force personnel captured in the future.

S. Kenny, Hicks and the Geneva Convention , Sir Richard Blackburn lecture 2005, Canberra, 19 May 2005.
27 May 2005

Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Lyn Allison, says that the Australian Government has failed in its duty to protect its citizens and uphold fundamental legal principles . She states that David Hicks should be repatriated to face trial in Australia if there is anything to charge him with, and if not, that he should be released.

Senator L. Allison, Govt could have done more for Corby, press release, 27 May 2005.
June 2005

Article by Devika Hovell and Gary Niemann examines the accuracy of the Government s claim that Mr Hicks cannot be tried by Australian law as it existed at the time of his alleged conduct.

D. Hovell and G. Niemann, In the matter of David Hicks: a case for Australian courts? Public Law Review, vol. 16 (2), 2005,
pp. 116 133.
1 June 2005

Discussion of the case for detention as existing international laws seem incapable of being applied in the fight against international terrorism.

A. Anderson, Getting real: Reforming international law governing the detention of terrorist suspects , IPA Review, vol. 57(2), June 2005, pp. 6 8.
1 June 2005

Four international lawyers raise doubts about the charges brought against Mr Hicks, saying that they are flawed. They claim that the charges of attacking civilians, attempted murder, and aiding and abetting the enemy are too vague and do not exist in international law.

M. Wilkinson, Top lawyers cast new doubts on Hicks charges , The Age,
1 June 2005.
6 June 2005

An editorial states Australia is the only western nation allowing one of its citizens to go before a Military Commission. The war on terrorism has resulted in the surrender of the rights that define freedoms.

Editorial, The shutting out of David Hicks , Sydney Morning Herald,
6 June 2005.
10 June 2005

The Minister for Justice, Senator Chris Ellison, reiterates the Government view that Mr Hicks cannot be prosecuted in Australia because there was no legislation in place at the time to deal with the offence. The Government continues to seek a trial as quickly as possible.

Senator the Hon. Chris Ellison, Transcript of Doorstop, 10 June 2005.
10 June 2005

There is growing pressure to close down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre after Amnesty International described it as the gulag of our times and the Bush administration admitted that copies of the Koran had been mistreated at the centre.

G. Elliott, Growing pressure to shut Guantanamo , The Australian, 10 June 2005.
Mr Hicks meets with new lawyer
12 June 2005

Mr Hicks s new Australian lawyer, David McLeod, is to meet Mr Hicks for the first time.

AAP, Lawyer to see Hicks in Cuba , Canberra Times,
12 June 2005.
13 June 2005

Mr Ruddock is reported saying the possible closure of Guantanamo Bay would not affect Mr Hicks. Detainees will still be held and prosecuted as part of the Military Commission trial process.

Possible Guantanamo Bay closure wouldn t affect Hicks, says Ruddock , Canberra Times, 13 June 2005.
16 June 2005

The US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, says Guantanamo Bay will be needed for years to come.

G. Elliott, Rumsfeld backs Guantanamo s role , The Australian, 16 June 2005.
18 June 2005

An article claims the detention of Mr Hicks is part of a wider problem of America s War on Terror. It is possible he and others may be held indefinitely according to Michael Wiggins, (US) Deputy Associate Attorney-General.

M. Gawenda, Hicks adrift in US terror debate , The Age,
18 June 2005.
21 June 2005

Former US President Clinton joins other senior and respected American politicians, like Senator John McCain (former Vietnam POW), to denounce the holding of suspected terrorists without trial at Guantanamo Bay. Mr Clinton says the facility should be closed down or cleaned up .

KRT, AFP, Terror jail should be shut down: Clinton , Canberra Times,
21 June 2005.
22 June 2005

Labor member, Daryl Melham, condemns the Government for its lack of action to bring Mr Hicks home. He says it is a disgrace that an Australian citizen remains in indefinite detention in the legal black hole of Guantanamo Bay.

D. Melham, MP, Statements by Members: David Hicks , House, Debates, 22 June 2005, p. 172 173
23 June 2005

Mr Hicks appears unwell and despairing, according to his new lawyer, David McLeod.

M. Gawenda and P. Debelle, Hicks in despair says lawyer after visit , The Age, 23 June 2005.
24 June 2005

The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, says that the Military Commission process will not provide a fair trial for David Hicks.

The Hon. Kim Beazley, MP, Transcript of Press Conference, Canberra, 24 June 2005.
26 June 2005

US politicians from both parties tour the Guantanamo Bay facility and accept that conditions have improved. However, they agree that more needs to be done to ensure adequate legal processes are in place to handle detainee cases.

Guantanamo conditions improved: critics , Canberra Times, 27 June 2005.
28 June 2005

Democrats Senator, Andrew Bartlett, says it is outrageous that the Federal Government continues to place blind faith in the same system that acquitted two marines of stabbing a Townsville student in the neck . He says the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, is neglecting the duty of care to Australian citizens in Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Andrew Bartlett, US justice can t be trusted, media release,
28 June 2005.
3 July 2005 Mr Hicks s lawyer, David McLeod, says the timing is right for Prime Minister Howard to use his visit to Washington to ask for Mr Hicks s return. He says otherwise Mr Hicks may wait for a trial indefinitely. M. Grattan, Facing up to unfinished business , Sunday Age, 3 July 2005.
9 July 2005

In his address to a joint Australian Irish Bar Conference, a senior Irish barrister, Bill Shipsey, comments on what he regards as Australia s diminishing standards of human rights. He claims that Australia, with its previous good record, now appears to be sending a message to the world that international solidarity and international law can be jettisoned

C. Hull, An Irish lament for Australia s flawed record on human rights , Canberra Times,
9 July 2005.
15 July 2005

US military investigators who briefed a Senate Committee after a three month investigation of interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, say the tactics are not dissimilar.

J. White, Pattern emerges in US military abuse of prisoners , Sydney Morning Herald,
15 July 2005.
16 July 2005

The US Federal Appeals Court upholds the Military Commission trial process. The unanimous decision of the three-judge appeals court panel overturned a 8 November 2004 ruling by US District Court Judge James Robertson in the case of Salim Hahmed Hamdan v. Donald Rumsfeld, et al. As a result, Military Commissions are deemed legal.

R.J. Smith, Court rules military panels to try detainees , Washington Post,
16 July 2005

K.T Rhem, Appeals court decision clears way for Military Commissions , American Forces Press Service, 16 July 2005.

Mr Hicks s health reported to be failing

16 July 2005

Mr Hicks reportedly says, in a phone call to his father, that he is suffering from eyesight problems and chronic back pain.

P. Debelle, Hicks suffering chronic back pain, eye problems , The Age, 16 July 2005.
16 July 2005

While in Washington, Prime Minister John Howard says he intends to raise the issue of the Military Commission process with regard to Mr Hicks. He has been given written statements by the Defense Department stating that there is no evidence to support the allegations of the mistreatment of Australian citizens Mr Hicks and Mr Habib whilst in detention at Guantanamo Bay.

The Hon.John Howard, MP, Doorstop interview, Washington DC,
16 July 2005.
18 July 2005

The US announces that Military Commission trials will begin as soon as possible for two enemy combatants, Hamdan and David Hicks. US Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, makes the announcement alongside Prime Minister John Howard in a visit to the Pentagon.

K.T Rhem, Military Trials for two Guantanamo Bay detainees to resume soon , American Forces Press Service, 18 July 2005.
18 July 2005

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says he is satisfied with the Military Commission procedures that are in place, particularly now that some procedural issues raised by the Government have been addressed by the US. He again says he would like to have Mr Hicks s case resolved as quickly as possible.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Transcript, Joint Press Conference following meeting with Judge Bruguiere, Canberra, 18 July 2005.
21 July 2005

An article claims that the new US Supreme Court nominee is likely to be more right . The nominee is one of the three judges who ruled the previous week that the Military Commission process did not contravene the US constitution.

M. Gawenda, Bush springs surprise with court nominee , Sydney Morning Herald, 21 July 2005.
23 July 2005

The Law Council of Australia releases a second report on the Hicks case by Lex Lasry, QC: In my opinion in many respects the circumstances now faced by David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay are worse than they were in August 2004. In part that is because the extended litigation has severely delayed the progress of his case exacerbated by the fact that the delay has not had the effect of making the process any fairer .

L. Lasry, Report of the Independent Legal Observer for the Law Council of Australia, Law Council of Australia, July 2005.
25 July 2005

Alexander Ward, President of the Law Society of South Australia fears that the Military Commission process will not provide a fair trial. He is concerned that someone who is not proven guilty has been held for such a long time to face a trial which will not be transparent.

A. Ward, Hicks deserves right to a fair trial , Adelaide Advertiser, 25 July 2005.
27 July 2005

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says that challenges to legal proceedings would delay the case of David Hicks, but he would like the matter resolved as quickly as possible. He has been reassured by the US Attorney-General that there is a substantial case with the evidence having been assessed and charges considered appropriate.

ABC TV, Ruddock to discuss Hicks case in US , Lateline,
27 July 2005.
1 August 2005

Mr Ruddock says there are good reasons for using a Military Commission process it is an effective way of ensuring a just trial and it deals with security-related information that helps protect against terrorist threats.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Doorstop interview, Adelaide, 1 August 2005.

Military Commissions claimed to be rigged

2 August 2005 Mr Hicks s lawyer, David McLeod, demands the Australian Government investigate claims that the Military Commission hearings are rigged . The concerns held by two former prosecutors, Captain John Carr and Major Robert Preston, were detailed in leaked emails. The President of the Law Council of Australia, John North, says that such concerns should sound alarm bells . V. Edwards, Hicks hearing set up for conviction , The Australian, 2 August 2005.
2 August 2005

The leaked emails cite the reasons the two former prosecutors, Captain Carr and Major Preston, resigned from the Military Commission process. The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, restates his support for the Military Commission process.

M. Gawenda, Australia duped by America over Hicks trial , The Age, 2 August 2005.
2 August 2005

An article suggests that the Attorney-General and the Government should be willing to listen to what has emerged as insider criticism of the Military Commission process.

M. Wilkinson, Insiders confirm obvious: the Hicks fix is in , Sydney Morning Herald,
2 August 2005.
2 August 2005

The head of Australia s military bar, Captain Paul Willee, says the Military Commission process would not provide a fair trial for Mr Hicks.

T. Allard, Defence Force lawyer lashes Hicks court , Sydney Morning Herald,
2 August 2005.
2 August 2005

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, criticises what he calls foreign policy incompetence by the Howard Government over the US detention of Mr Hicks.

Kevin Rudd, MP, Doorstop interview,
Perth, 2 August 2005.
2 August 2005

Prime Minister John Howard rejects the possibility of Mr Hicks being tried in Australia as there was no law covering Mr Hicks s alleged offences at that time.

The Hon. John Howard, MP, Doorstop interview,
Bookpurnong,
2 August 2005.
3 August 2005

The Law Council of Australia is appalled that the Government is, in its view, dismissing criticism of the US Military Commission process. It claims that the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and the Attorney-General all refuse to accord Mr Hicks the presumption of innocence.

Law Council of Australia, Government must do more over mounting criticism of military commissions, media release, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

Prime Minister John Howard rules out any challenge to the trial of Mr Hicks despite allegations that the trial is rigged . This decision provokes criticism from Major Michael Mori.

V. Edwards and D. Nason, PM says Hicks will get a fair go , The Australian, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

An editorial says that Mr Ruddock is accountable to all Australians to ensure that Mr Hicks gets a fair trial and that justice is done and is seen to be done. It claims that at the very least , Mr Hicks is a confederate of terrorists and should account to a court for his actions.

Editorial, Time to try Hicks: but his right to a fair trial must be guaranteed , The Australian, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

Professor George Williams, a leading constitutional lawyer, and Devika Hovell, a former associate to a High Court judge, claim Mr Hicks could be charged under the Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions Act.

M. Grattan, Charges could be brought here say legal experts , The Age, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

Ted Lapkin, Director of Policy Analysis at the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, says that Mr Hicks is fortunate to be facing US military justice in 2005, rather than in 1945.

T. Lapkin, Forget peacetime niceties this is a war , The Age, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, says that the Military Commission trial is inappropriate and that David Hicks should be tried by a civil court.

The Hon. Kim Beazley, MP, Doorstop interview, Perth, 3 August 2005.
3 August 2005

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, is confident that there is substantial evidence to bring Mr Hicks to trial.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Doorstop interview, Darwin, 3 August 2005.
4 August 2005

A small newspaper phone poll finds that 68 per cent of callers consider that Mr Hicks will not get a fair trial and 32 per cent believe that he will.

Voteline: Do you think David Hicks will receive a fair trial? , Adelaide Advertiser, 4 August 2005.
4 August 2005

There is apparently concern amongst some Liberal backbenchers about the military tribunal process in Guantanamo Bay. Legal expert, Professor George Williams, is confident Mr Hicks can be tried in Australia.

AAP, Heat is on Howard over Hicks process , Canberra Times, 4 August 2005.
4 August 2005

Mr Hicks s US lawyer, Major Michael Mori, questions the validity of witness evidence which he says is based on hearsay or unrecorded interrogations and statements only.

D. Nason and A. Wilson (with V. Edwards), Lawyers for Hicks object to witnesses , The Australian, 4 August 2005.
4 August 2005

The Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, says that in the face of growing criticism from a number of legal experts, Mr Ruddock is either too stubborn or too incompetent to see that his opinion that the military commission is fair is unsustainable .

Nicola Roxon, MP, Ruddock v Experts, media release,
4 August 2005.
4 August 2005

Mr Hicks s lawyer in Australia, David McLeod, claims his defence team is being denied resources.

ABC Radio, Hicks lawyer claims defence denied resources , AM,
4 August 2005.
4 August 2005

Justice Mary Gaudron, retired Australian High Court Judge, comments that the rule of law has not been applied to David Hicks s case, and that a Military Commission process puts rights and truth at risk. While he is being charged with conspiracy, it is not clear why he cannot be charged here in Australia.

ABC Radio National, Former High Court Judge discusses why David Hicks should not face a military trial in the US, Breakfast, 4 August 2005.
5 August 2005

An article accuses the Prime Minister John Howard of trying to protect the good name of the US military justice system rather than protecting the right of an Australian citizen to a fair trial.

M. Costello, No, Prime Minister, injustice is inexcusable , The Australian, 5 August 2005.
6 August 2005

Leading human rights lawyer and UN war crimes judge, Geoffrey Robertson QC, says the Government should ensure an Australian judge is involved in Mr Hicks s trial.

N. Leys, Hicks trial needs Australian judge: Robertson , Weekend Australian, 6 August 2005.

US Government to release Afghan detainees

6 August 2005

The US and Afghan Governments sign an agreement to transfer 110 Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay back to Afghanistan.

Afghans to be moved from Cuba to homeland , Canberra Times, 6 August 2005.
6 August 2005

A newspaper poll indicates significant public support (84.4 per cent) for a Military Commission trial for Mr Hicks, compared to 15.6 per cent who do not support it.

Voteline: Amid concerns that the process might be rigged, are you happy for David Hicks to be tried by a US Military Commission? , Daily Telegraph, 6 August 2005.
6 August 2005

An article points out that detained US citizens have not been subject to the Military Commission process, but were instead tried by the US court system.

A. Horin, Good, bad or ugly: a fair trial is a right , Sydney Morning Herald,
6 August 2005.
7 August 2005

The cost to Australian taxpayers of Mr Hicks s defence team now exceeds $100 000, according to the Attorney-General, Mr Ruddock.

L. Wright, Hicks costs us $100,000 , Sunday Herald Sun,
7 August 2005.
7 August 2005

The Australian Greens plan to move for Senate support for David Hicks to be returned to Australia for trial.

Senator Bob Brown, Greens will test new Senate on day one, press release,
7 August 2005.
10 August 2005

Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Bob Brown, moves that the Senate call on the US Government to immediately return Mr Hicks to Australia resolved overwhelmingly in the negative.

Senator Bob Brown, Mr David Hicks , Senate, Debates, 10 August 2005, p. 95.
10 August 2005

Defence lawyers for Osama bin Laden s driver, Hamdan, have lodged another appeal with the highest US court over the legitimacy of the Military Commission process. If the Supreme Court accepts this case it could mean all Military Commission trials are delayed until mid-2006.

E. Colman and D. Nason, Appeal raises delay threat for Hicks , The Australian,
10 August 2005.
10 August 2005

Don Rothwell, Challis Professor of International Law at the University of Sydney and Director of the Sydney Centre for International and Global Law, claims there is a distinction in the response of the Government to the Corby (drug trafficking) case and Mr Hicks s case.

D. Rothwell, A right to protection , Canberra Times,
10 August 2005.
10 August 2005

Liberal backbencher Danna Vale speaks out against the military process in the party room.

D. Nason, Liberal MP decries Hicks trial rights , The Australian,
10 August 2005.
10 August 2005

The Australian Government admits that the case against Mr Hicks has taken too long.

Howard owns up , Herald Sun, 10 August 2005.

Law Council of Australia says Mr Hicks will not get a fair trial

11 August 2005

The Law Council of Australia sends an open letter to the Prime Minister signed by 14 Presidents of State Law Societies and Bar Associations. The letter condemns the Government, stating there is no possibility of Mr Hicks getting a fair trial:

A fair and impartial trial is virtually impossible for reasons including that:

  • The significant delay in commencing proceedings has prejudiced a fair trial;
  • The Military Commission can admit unreliable evidence which cannot be cross examined, such as, hearsay evidence and written records in place of live witnesses;
  • Lack of independence of the Military Commission from the US Government;
  • Absence of appeal rights from a decision of the Military Commission.
Law Council of Australia, An open letter to The Hon. John Howard MP , 11 August 2005.
13 August 2005

According to Mr Hicks s Australian lawyer, David McLeod, Saddam Hussein appears to receive fairer treatment than Mr Hicks, and according to Professor Tim Cormack, Professor of International Law at Melbourne University, so does Slobodan Milosevic.

F. Shiel, Saddam treated better than Hicks, lawyer claims , The Age,
13 August 2005.
18 August 2005

Mr Ruddock responds to retired High Court judge Mary Gaudron s comments of 4 August 2005, clarifying earlier statements made by him and stating that Mary Gaudron could not be expected to know all the details of Mr Hicks s case.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Letter: Gaudron not in touch with case , Australian Financial Review, 18 August 2005.
19 August 2005

Mr Hicks s lawyers, Michael Griffin and David McLeod are concerned for Mr Hicks s physical and mental state after Michael Griffin visits him in Guantanamo Bay.

V. Edwards, Hicks has haunted look, say lawyers , The Australian,
19 August 2005.
22 August 2005

Three more detainees are released from Guantanamo Bay, bringing the total released to 245. There are approximately 505 detainees currently at Guantanamo Bay.

US Department of Defense, Detainee transfer announced, news release,
22 August 2005.
31 August 2005


The US Government claims the thirty-one changes made to the Military Commission trial process will improve the system. The presiding officer is able to rule on questions of law only and will not be able to vote on guilt or innocence, or participate in determining sentencing. Also, the defendant is more likely to be present at his trial and instead of 35 days, a review of Commission cases can now take up to 75 days.

A. Abboud, Department of Defense Changes Military Commission Procedures , Department of State, 31 August 2005.

K.T Rhem, Officials announce changes to military commissions procedures , American Forces Press Service,
31 August 2005.

1 September 2005


The Pentagon clears the way for the resumption of David Hicks s military trial. Hearings will resume sometime between 3 October and 20 October 2005.

Reuters, Guantanamo trial to resume , The Washington Post,
21 September 2005.

K.T Rhem, Military commission proceedings to resume for Australian Taliban , American Forces Press Service,
21 September 2005.

21 September 2005

The constantly shifting Military Commission process is criticised by the President-elect of the Law Council of Australia, Tim Bugg, as being indicative of a flawed process.

Law Council of Australia, Military trial of Hicks shaping up to be a true travesty of justice, media release,
21 September 2005.

Mr Hicks reported to have applied for British citizenship

26 September 2005


It is revealed that David Hicks has applied for British citizenship on the basis of his mother s British nationality. Mr Hicks s status was accidentally discovered by his American lawyer, Major Mori, in a conversation about cricket and the Ashes.

D. King, British citizenship a new hope for Hicks , The Australian,
26 September 2005.
27 September 2005


The Pentagon sets a trial date of 18 November 2005. David Hicks will face charges of conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy. His application for British citizenship is not expected to be processed before the trial date.

ABC News Online, Pentagon sets Hicks hearing date ,
27 September 2005.
28 September 2005 Major Michael Mori criticises Mr Downer for reportedly accusing Mr Hicks of trying to avoid justice by seeking British citizenship. Major Mori says justice will only be ensured by a fair trial in an established court P. Coorey, Downer angers Hicks lawyer , The Advertiser,
28 September 2005.
28 September 2005 David Hicks s father, Terry Hicks, says that David was picked up at a taxi stand rather than a battlefield and that his Afghan captors, the Northern Alliance, were paid $15 000. T. Allard, US bribed Hicks captors, says father , Sydney Morning Herald,
28 September 2005.
28 September 2005 A newspaper poll of 306 callers responding to the question of whether David Hicks should be allowed to use British citizenship to get out of Guantanamo results in 46 per cent saying yes and 54 per cent saying no . Voteline: Should David Hicks be allowed British citizenship to get out of Guantanamo , The Advertiser, 28 September 2005.


20 October 2005


The Legal Adviser to the Appointing Authority for the Military Commissions reportedly says that David Hicks will not be given credit for the time he has already served in prison.

ABC Radio, Hicks unlikely to receive credit for time served , The World Today, 20 October 2005.


21 October 2005


The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Downer, says the Australian Government will request the Americans to take into account the time already spent by Mr Hicks in prison.

B. Nicholson, Hicks time in custody ignored by Pentagon: Australia differs on sentencing stance , The Age, 21 October 2005.


24 October 2005


It is claimed the Military Commission process has been condemned by the American Bar Association, the UK Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, distinguished Australian lawyer Lex Lasry, and Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch has summarised the legal and human rights objections to Military Commission trials.

G. Barker, A cruel parody of justice , Australian Financial Review, 24 October 2005.


29 October 2005


Mr Hicks s lawyer in London, Stephen Grosz, says the British Home Office is not keen to issue David Hicks with a British passport because he is a detainee in Guantanamo Bay.

T. Allard, British cagey on Hicks passport , Sydney Morning Herald,
29 October 2005.

31 October 2005

The Four Corners programme outlines the case against David Hicks and interviews several relevant persons.

ABC TV, The case against David Hicks , Four Corners,
31 October 2005.

4 November 2005

An article says that the US military s alleged abuse and mistreatment of Mr Hicks, as reported by ABC television s Four Corners, should be considered disturbing. It states that Mr Downer s assertion that he is very surprised at Mr Hicks s claims and that Mr Hicks has not previously made such claims, is also disturbing.

J. Cain, Hicks abuse claims demand some answers, The Age,
4 November 2005.

6 November 2005

US Vice-President, Dick Cheney, requests exemption from a proposed ban on torture. The US Congress is responding to the allegations of torture in Abu Ghraib and at Guantanamo Bay. Human rights organisations claim that the US turns detainees over to other countries that use torture to extract information.

AP, Cheney plea to Republicans over CIA torture exemption , Canberra Times,
6 November 2005.

8 November 2005

The US Supreme Court announces that it will decide the validity of the Military Commissions that President Bush wants to use to bring detainees charged with terrorist offences to trial.

L. Greenhouse, Justices to rule on a challenge to U.S tribunals , New York Times, (subscription required), 8 November 2005.

8 November 2005

The US Supreme Court agrees to hear a case (Hamdan) challenging the legality of the Military Commission set up to try Mr Hicks and other detainees. It is very likely that Mr Hicks s legal team will seek a ban on his Military Commission trial going ahead on 18 November 2005 as the decision could have an impact on his trial.

ABC Radio, US Supreme Court ruling may impact Hicks case , AM, 8 November 2005.

11 November 2005

The successful passage of an amendment in the US Senate seeks to take away any access detainees have to US courts. This is yet to be debated in the House.

E. Schmitt, Senate approves limiting rights of U.S detainees , New York Times, (subscription required), 11 November 2005.

13 November 2005

Former Minister for Veterans Affairs, Danna Vale, requests the Prime Minister to lobby the US Government to allow Mr Hicks to be brought home. She states that there are another eight or nine Coalition members who support her position.

J. Granger, Hicks gets no help on home front , Sunday Canberra Times,
13 November 2005.

14 November 2005

An amendment barring foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay from filing lawsuits in US courts could nullify a challenge the Supreme Court agreed to hear last week about the special war crimes tribunals.

G. Taylor, Bill would cut off Gitmo tribunal review , Washington Post, 13 November 2005.

US Federal Court suspends Military Commission trial of Mr Hicks

14 November 2005

US Federal Court judge, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kettely orders the suspension of the Military Commission trial of Mr Hicks which was due to begin on 18 November. This stay in the trial has been granted pending a final decision by the Supreme Court with regard to the validity of the Military Commission trial of Hamdan.

Hicks v Bush (DC District Court, 02–299);

ABC News Online, US Federal judge suspends Hicks trial , 14 November 2005;

Directive of the Appointing Authority for Military Commissions ordering the trial to be delayed.

16 November 2005

Lawyers welcome the delay in Mr Hicks s trial as the outcome from the decision on the Hamdan case in the Supreme Court could have a crucial impact on Mr Hicks s case.

F. Shiel, Lawyers welcome stay in trial , The Age, 16 November 2005.

17 November 2005

Devika Hovell, Director of the International Law Project, Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law at the University of New South Wales, questions the validity of the Military Commission trial. She maintains that Mr Hicks should be treated as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions, and that failure to do this has implications for the fundamental protections of troops in future armed conflicts.

D. Hovell, Refusing to treat David Hicks as a prisoner of war is a travesty of justice , Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 2005.

UK Home Office rejects Mr Hicks s application for citizenship

20 November 2005

Although the Home Office has rejected Mr Hicks s application for British citizenship, he plans to challenge the decision in court. Mr Hicks s application was rejected on account of his involvement with training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

AAP, Guardian, AFP, Hicks to fight visa rejection , Sunday Age, 20 November 2005.

22 November 2005

An editorial suggests it is possible Mr Hicks may never be tried at all. It claims there is ample indication of detainees being subject to coercion and that the incarceration of Mr Hicks has involved fundamental illegalities in both international and American domestic law .

Editorial, Hicks likely to have the last laugh , Canberra Times,
22 November 2005.

27 November 2005

Labor Member Bob McMullan says it is humiliating that Mr Hicks has had to seek British citizenship. He calls for Mr Hicks s return to Australia.

A. Fraser, McMullan calls for Hicks s return from Guantanamo , Sunday Canberra Times, 27 November 2005

Britain s High Court directs UK Government to grant Mr Hicks citizenship

14 December 2005

Britain s High Court has directed the British Government to accept David Hicks as a British citizen.

British court paves the way for Hicks best chance at release , Canberra Times,
14 December 2005.

14 December 2005

Democrats Senator Natasha Stott Despoja says it is a pity the Australian Government does not share the United Kingdom s respect for international human rights law

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Hicks: UK to come through where Australia failed?, press release, 14 December 2005.

14 December 2005

Australian Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, suggests the Prime Minister bring Mr Hicks home to Australia, even after the British High Court accepted Mr Hicks s application for citizenship.

Senator Bob Brown, Call for Howard to accept Hicks UK freedom bid: bring Hicks home, press release, 14 December 2005.

15 December 2005

The Director of Policy Analysis at the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council makes a case for military justice in light of the possibility of Mr Hicks being made a British citizen.

T. Lapkin, Military justice is crucial , The Australian,
15 December 2005.

17 December 2005

US Republican Senator John McCain wins a political battle to ban the torture of all terrorism detainees in US custody.

G. Elliott, McCain revolt secures ban on torture , Weekend Australian,
17 December 2005.

27 December 2005

Clive Williams, Visiting Fellow at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University, says David Hicks does not deserve to be incarcerated indefinitely and refers to the military tribunal processes he is facing as legally questionable .

C. Williams, Terror threats won t go away , Courier Mail,
27 December 2005.

UK Home Office to appeal High Court ruling granting citizenship to Mr Hicks

28 December 2005

The British Home Office says it will appeal against the High Court ruling which granted citizenship to David Hicks.

British Government will appeal Hicks s citizenship , Canberra Times, 28 December 2005.

29 January 2006

The Australian Government decides to fund Mr Hicks s lawyer s travel costs to visit Mr Hicks at Guantanamo Bay.

Hicks lawyer wins travel funding , Sunday Canberra Times, 29 January 2006.

6 February 2006

Mr Hicks s Australian lawyer, David McLeod, is concerned about Mr Hicks s physical and emotional state. He apparently suffers from back, neck and feet problems and his eyesight is reported to be failing.

ABC Radio, Hicks lawyer takes new appeal to Australian Government , AM,
6 February 2006.

10 February 2006

Hunger-striking Guantanamo Bay detainees are reportedly being force-fed following tough new measures introduced by US military authorities.

T. Golden, Anger at Guantanamo force-feeding , The Age,
10 February 2006.

UN report condemns conditions at Guantanamo Bay

17 February 2006

A report by the UN Commission on Human Rights recommends that either all the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay be released or face an independent court trial. The report says that the treatment of detainees amounts to torture.

ABC Radio, US faces pressure to close down Guantanamo Bay prison , AM,
17 February 2006.

17 February 2006

The Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, says the Government must act urgently with regard to David Hicks, now that the UN has condemned the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Nicola Roxon, MP, Government must act on UN Guantanamo report, media release, 17 February 2006.

18 February 2006

David Hicks s Australian lawyer, David McLeod, says he has received an undertaking from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, to raise the Hicks case at the next Cabinet meeting. Mr McLeod claims to have provided Mr Downer with new information and that the UN report and the growing number of detainees being released without trial is reason enough for the Australian Government to reconsider Mr Hicks s case.

ABC Radio, Downer to take Hicks case back to Cabinet , AM,
18 February 2006.

1 March 2006

Peter Garrett MP (ALP) criticises the Attorney-General for allowing an Australian citizen to be detained in Guantanamo Bay to face a trial by a military commission process.

Peter Garrett MP, Telecommunications Interception Amendment Bill: Second Reading , House Hansard, 1 March 2006.

2 March 2006

  Cuba camp prisoners to be sent back home The Age, 2 March 2006.

7 March 2006

  Cuba jail legal anomaly , The Australian, 7 March 2006.

9 March 2006

Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer does not think Mr Hicks is being treated harshly as he faces very serious charges.

Radio 5AA, The Hon A. Downer, MP Transcript of interview , 9 March 2006.

11 March 2006

  I. Munro, Apathy on Hicks unbelievable, The Age , 11 March 2006.

14 March 2006

The Australian Democrats launch a petition calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

Senator Stott Despoja, Hicks petition launched, press release, 14 March 2006

15 March 2006

Labor MPs call for policy change with regard to Guantanamo Bay by calling for its closure.

M. Franklin, Labor pressure on Guantanamo Bay , Courier Mail, 15 March 2006.

18 March 2006

Prime Minister John Howard says he is concerned about the delay of the court trial process for Mr Hicks but that this delay is not the fault of the US Government.

J. Howard, PM, Transcript of doorstop interview, Langham Hotel, Melbourne, 18 March 2006.

19 March 2006

The British Home Office is planning to reject Mr Hicks's application for British citizenship. The reasons include Mr Hicks's 2003 admissions to M15 officers concerning his 'extensive' terrorist training in Kashmir and Afghanistan and his training with other terrorists, including "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

A. Crabbe, M15 spies deal blow to terror suspect Hicks , Sunday Age, 19 March 2006.

21 March 2006

According to Alfred McCoy s book A Question for Torture: CIA interrogation from the Cold War to the War on Terror, CIA torture methods, including interrogation involving self-inflicted pain and sensory deprivation are spreading.

P. Adams, 'Opinion: Torture as American as apple pie , The Australian, 21 March 2003

26 March 2006

Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, (No. 05-184). Osama bin Laden s chauffeur, Hamdan, challenges the legitimacy of military commissions to convict him of terrorism. This case challenges Presidential powers asserted in November 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York. A decision is expected in July.

C. Lane, Court case challenges power of President: Military tribunal s legitimacy at issue , Washington Post, 26 March 2006.

27 March 2006

Democrats Leader, Senator Lyn Allison, asks why the Government allows David Hicks to "languish" in the Guantanamo Bay detention facility when the British Prime Minister fought for the release of British citizens from the same facility.

Senator Lyn Allison, David Hicks , Senate, Question Without Notice, 27 March 2006.

28 March 2006

Democrats Senator Stott Despoja moves a motion to:
-  support calls by British PM, Tony Blair for Guantanamo Bay to be closed;
- note that the recently released UN report condemns the military detention facility; and
-  call on the Australian Government to repatriate David Hicks or insist that he is provided with a fair trial.

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Foreign Affairs Mr David Hicks , Senate Journals, No. 77-22, 28 March 2006, p. 2004.

28 March 2006

Senator Faulkner (ALP) presents a petition by 22 citizens deploring the lack of support and assistance provided to Mr Hicks by the Government but especially the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.

Senator John Faulkner, Petition: Military Detention: Australian Citizens , Senate, Hansard, 28 March 2006.

29 March 2006

Senator Linda Kirk, (ALP) in response to a United Nations report released on 16 February 2006, calls on the Australian Government, to 'at the very least' request that the US Government set up an independent inquiry into Guantanamo Bay to investigate allegations of torture and mistreatment and the practice of extraordinary rendition. She also questions the rejection by the US administration of her application to visit David Hicks.

Senator Linda Kirk, Matters of Public Interest: Guantanamo Bay , Senate, Hansard, 29 March 2006.

30 March 2006

Senator Lyn Allison asks a number of questions to clarify the Government s position in relation to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, the response of the British Government, the military commission process and the appropriate application of the Geneva Convention.

Senator Lyn Allison, Questions On Notice: Guantanamo Bay , Senate Hansard, 30 March 2006.

13 April 2006

Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, says the Australian Government should be persuading the US Government to put Mr Hicks on trial in a civil court as it has already been four years since his arrest.

The Hon Kim Beazley, MP, Doorstop Interview, 13 April 2006.

13 April 2006

Greens Leader Senator Bob Brown urges the Government to call on the US Government to move Mr Hicks out of solitary confinement in view of the UK Government s support for him.

Senator Bob Brown, Ruddock should act on British government backing Hicks, press release, 13 April 2006.

13 April 2006

Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, renews calls on the Government to intervene in the Hicks case. She expresses concern that Mr Hicks is again in solitary confinement.

Nicola Roxon, MP, Where does the Hicks case end?, press release, 13 April 2006.

13 April 2006

Democrats Senator, Natasha Stott Despoja, urges the Government to release information as to why David Hicks has been returned to solitary confinment.

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Come clean on Hicks confinement, press release, 13 April 2006.

13 April 2006

The Law Council of Australia says the British Government appears more concerned about the plight of David Hicks than the Australian Government. It calls on the Australian Government to help the UK facilitate the citizenship process and says US authorities are blocking attempts by British officials to interview Mr Hicks so he can swear allegiance to the Crown.

Law Council of Australia, British justice comes to Hicks aid as his own government turns a blind eye, media release, 13 April 2006.

19 April 2006

The US Department of Defense releases a list of 558 detainees who have gone through the Combatant Status Review Tribunal process, implemented in July 2004.

US Department of Defense, List of detainees who went through complete CSRT process

3 May 2006

A Melbourne journalist regards the treatment of Mr Hicks in Guantanamo Bay as 'mean spirited' as he is moved again into solitary confinement.

M. Baker, If they can t give Hicks justice they should throw in the towel, The Age, 3 May 2006.

6 May 2006

In a speech to the Darwin Press Club, Northern Territory Supreme Court Chief Justice, Brian Martin, says that rather than political support for the incarceration of Mr Hicks there should instead be political support for individual rights of people in society.

A. Williams, Judges blast at caging of Hicks, Weekend Australian, 6 May 2006.

8 May 2006

The British Court of Appeal rules against the British Home Office attempt to block Mr Hicks s application to be a British citizen.

'UK court decision gives hope to Hicks, Canberra Times, 8 May 2006.

9 May 2006

An arrangement is signed in Washington which will allow Mr Hicks to apply to serve his sentence in Australia should he be convicted of charges against him. This is in keeping with the International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP, and the Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, Government finalises transfer of prisoner arrangement with United States, media release, 9 May 2006.

10 May 2006

It is reported that the British Home Office is likely to appeal to the House of Lords, the highest appeal court in Britain, to prevent David Hicks gaining British citizenship.

New appeal tipped over bid for UK citizenship , Canberra Times, 10 May 2006.

11 May 2006

Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, compares United Kingdom s Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, to Attorney- General, Philip Ruddock, whom she describes as 'dismal'. She says the former stands up for 'human rights, fair process and the rule of law'.

Nicola Roxon, UK's Goldsmith shows Ruddock how to be a real Attorney General, press release, 11 May 2006.

11 May 2006

Senator Stott Despoja moves that the Senate note the continuing issues regarding David Hicks's application to be a UK citizen and calls on the Government to repatriate Mr Hicks to Australia or not discourage his repatriation to the UK.

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Mr. David Hicks , Senate Hansard, 11 May 2005.

11 May 2006

Anthony Albanese MP (ALP) says the Prisoner Transfer Agreement that has been signed with the US is 'almost insignificant' without the main principles of international law and democratic freedoms being maintained with respect to David Hicks.

Anthony Albanese, Statements by Members: Mr. Hicks, House Hansard, 11 May 2006.

12 May 2006

Democrats Senator Stott Despoja says the Prime Minister John Howard is not serious about repatriating Mr Hicks to Australia. She seeks confirmation that the Government would not discourage the repatriation of Mr Hicks to the UK.

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Repatriating Hicks could speed up trial Mr Howard, press release, 12 May 2006.

15 May 2006

The US Department of Defense releases a comprehensive list of 759 detainees in response to a FOI request filed in March by Associated Press seeking records and identities of all Guantananmo Bay detainees. The list also indicates the citizenship of the detainees.

US Department of Defense, DoD Releases Names of 759 Current, Former Guantanamo Detainees , press release, 15 May 2006.

18 May 2006

The Law Council thinks that the Prime Minister is 'engaged in blame-sghifting' concerning delays in bringing Mr Hicks to a military commission hearing, claiming the US Government has engaged in a 'drawn-out' process 'designed to avoid real judicial scrutiny'.

Law Council of Australia, Howard deceptive about Hicks delay, media release, 18 May 2006.

18 May 2006 UN Committee on Torture issues a report which condemns treatment at Guantanamo Bay and notes that indefinite detention constitutes per se a violation of the UN Convention Against Torture. Committee Against Torture, 36th session
1–19 May 2006, Consideration of reports submitted by states parties under article 10 of the convention: Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture: United States of America

22 May 2006

Nicola Roxon, Labor MP submits a petition by 13 Australian citizens to the House of Representatives. The petition calls for immediate action by the House to help gain Mr Hicks s release and his immediate repatriation to Australia.

N. Roxon, Petition: Military Detention: Australian Citizen , House Hansard, 22 May 2006.

24 May 2006

Bob McMullan MP (ALP) raises concerns regarding the treatment of Mr Hicks and provides an alternative response to that suggested by the Center for American Progress on justice for international terrorism suspects.

Bob McMullan MP, Statements by Members: David Hicks, House Hansard, 24 May 2006.

26 May 2006

Democrats Senator, Natasha Stott Despoja, calls for the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to be closed down and for David Hicks to be repatriated to Australia.

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Close Guantanamo: Democrats, press release, 26 May 2006.

01 June 2006

 

A. McCoy, The outcast of Camp Echo: the punishment of David Hicks , Monthly, No. 13, 2006

3 June 2006

  J. Dowd, Letter: Open letter: Lawyers pen open letter to PM urging justice for Hicks , Weekend Australian, 3 June 2006.

5 June 2006

Democrats Senator, Natasha Stott Despoja, says that she wants persons charged with terrorist acts to be brought to justice and not detained without charge and held in foreign detention facilites. She also says that David Hicks has been abandoned by his own government to Guantanamo Bay where International Humanitarian Law and basic democratic freedoms are not observed.

'Opinion: Talk: Speak out in the name of democracy , The Advertiser, 5 June 2006.

8 June 2006

A report on human rights led by Swiss politician, Dick Marty, has revealed participation by as many as 14 European countries in the CIA rendition programme.

ABC Radio, European nations accused of collusion over prisoner rendition , AM, 8 June 2006.

9 June 2006

Law Council president, John North, meets the UK Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, in London to urge the British Government to expedite Mr Hicks s application for British citizenship.

Law Council and Lord Goldsmith meet on plight of David Hicks, media release, 9 June 2006.

9 June 2006

Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, accuses Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, of 'dismissing' the breaches of international and domestic law with regard to Mr Hicks that he claims have occurred.

Senator Bob Brown, Hicks torture uncivilised: Brown, press release, 9 June 2006.

9 June 2006

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock discusses David Hicks s arrest and detention. Mr Ruddock does not think that the Australian Government has abandoned David Hicks. He says that $250 000 in legal expenses have been spent on him and 14 consular visits have been made.

ABC Radio National, Transcript -David Hicks torture claims , Breakfast, 9 June 2006.

11 June 2006

Three prisoners commit suicide in Guantanamo Bay becoming the first to successfully do so. There have been 41 suicide attempts by 25 detainees at the facility since the facility opened in 2002.

J. Risen and T. Golden, Three prisoners commit suicide at Guantanamo , New York Times, 11 June 2006.

12 June 2006

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says David Hicks has not been suffering from psychological harm and therefore should not be at any risk of committing suicide. He says that a recent consular visit ascertained he was only suffering from a sore back.

ABC TV, Foreign Minister discusses suicides at Guantanamo Bay , Lateline, 12 June 2006.

June 2006

GlobalSecurity.Org publishes a listing of numbers of Guantanamo Bay detainees since 2002 including information about releases, suicide attempts, hunger strikes and successful suicides. The list is sourced from US Department of Defense press releases and is continually updated.

GlobalSecurity.Org, Guantanamo Bay: Detainees

13 June 2006

Senator Allison and Senator Stott Despoja present signed petitions calling for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

Senator Lyn Allison and Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Petition: Military Detention: Australian Citizens , Senate Hansard, 13 June 2006.

13 June 2006

Professor Alfred McCoy, University of Wisconsin, says David Hicks was subjected to 244 days of isolation which can be regarded as the most extreme isolation in the 50-year history of CIA psychological torture techniques. He says David Hicks would therefore have suffered great psychological damage.

ABC TV, Hicks severely damaged , Lateline, 13 January 2006.

14 June 2006

The US suspends all military trials for war on terror Guanatanamo Bay detainees. Ten suspects from about 460 detained have been charged as enemy combatants.

ABC News Online, US suspends Guantanamo military trials , 14 June 2006.

14 June 2006

Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, is joined by Labor and Democrats members in endorsing a motion that notes the suicides of three Guantanamo Bay detainees who had not been brought to trial and that David Hicks has been in captivity for over 4 years, also without trial. The Australian Government is urged to encourage the closure of Guantanamo Bay, and to have Mr Hicks returned to Australia for a fair trial.

Senator Bob Brown, Government votes down Hicks motion in Senate, press release, 14 June 2006.

14 June 2006

Democrats Leader Senator Lyn Allison asks that it be noted that Professor A. McCoy, an expert in CIA torture techniques, details the kind of torture Mr Hicks would be subject to in Guantanamo Bay. She calls for the Australian Government to make urgent representation to the US on behalf of David Hicks.

Questions without Notice: Take note of answers : 'Guantanamo Bay , Senate Hansard, 14 June 2006.

15 June 2006

Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, says now that David Hicks has been detained for four and a half years it is an 'embarassment' to Australia that the Government has not been 'able to argue with the US' for a fair trial.

Nicola Roxon, MP, Adjournment: Mr David Hicks , House Hansard , 15 June 2006.

15 June 2006

Daryl Melham MP (ALP) denounces the indefinite detention of David Hicks and what he says is the 'lack of effort' to have him returned to Australia. He is concerned especially in light of the three recent suicides by Guantanamo Bay detainees, Professor A. McCoy s expert comments on Guantanamo Bay torture techniques and the present solitary confinement of David Hicks.

Daryl Melham MP, Adjournment: Mr. David Hicks , House Hansard, 15 June 2006.

15 June 2006

The British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, will have the Hicks case presented before her for her decision as to "whether and if so what representations should be made to the US Government in relation to Mr Hicks".

ABC Radio, Hicks case taken to British Foreign Secretary, AM, 15 June 2006

15 June 2006

Kevin Rudd, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, says the Australian Government should be asking the US to grant the British Government consular access to David Hicks, and that any individual should have basic entitlements to a fair trial and access to consular services.

K. Rudd, Transcript of doorstop interview: Abu Bakar Bashir; David Hicks , 15 June 2006.

15 June 2006

Prime Minister John Howard is facing opposition from his backbenchers on a number of issues including the detention of Mr Hicks for more than four years without trial. Government Members of Parliament, Bruce Baird and Dana Vale, have raised the matter at joint party meetings.

L. Dodson, M. Metherell and S. Peatling, PM fights dissent from backbench on three fronts , Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2006.

16 June 2006

Australian Democrats Senator, Natasha Stott Despoja, questions why the Prime Minister accepts the Guantanamo Bay detention facility when the United Nations, Amnesty International and now even President Bush would like to see it closed down.

Senator Stott Despoja, Guantanamo: Howard out on a limb, press release, 16 June 2006.

19 June 2006

Laurie Ferguson MP (ALP) speaks out on the continued treatment of David Hicks, acknowledging the concerns raised by the recent suicides, and Professor A. McCoy s comments on Gunatanamo Bay torture. He also sees Australia and the US 'getting in the way' of the UK Government formalising Mr Hicks s rights to British citizenship.

Laurie Ferguson, MP, Adjournment: David Hicks , House Hansard, 16 June 2006.

28 June 2006

Michael Ratner, Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, discusses the outcomes for detainees following the Supreme Court ruling.

ABC Radio National, US lawyer discusses Supreme Court ruling that military commissions at Guantanamo Bay are illegal , Breakfast, 28 June 2006

28 June 2006

The British Foreign Office decides not to make representations on behalf of Mr Hicks because he was an Australian citizen when he was captured and taken to Guantanamo Bay.

R. Peake, UK government refuses to help Hicks, Canberra Times, 28 June 2006.

29 June 2006

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that the military commissions, which were outlined by President Bush in a military order on 13 November 2001, were neither authorised by federal law nor required by military necessity, and were contrary to the Geneva War Conventions. However, officials note an implicit invitation has been given for the Bush administration to seek the required authority from Congress to effectively try the detainees.

Hamdan v Rumsfeld (05-184);

D. Miles, Officials study implications of US Supreme Court ruling on Tribunals , American Forces Information Service, 29 June 2006.

30 June 2006

The US Supreme Court ruling acknowledges the concerns of the Law Council of Australia. Council President, Tim Bugg, says the military commission process is a system 'widely regarded as unfair, rigged and flawed. It was a process controlled by the Pentagon which acted as gaoler, judge, jury, prosecutor and appeal court'. However he notes the Australian Government has all along supported the military commission process.

Law Council of Australia, A victory for justice as military commissions get the thumbs down , media release, 30 June 2006.

30 June 2006

Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, calls on Prime Minister Howard to make sure Mr Hicks gets a fair trial in a US civilian court in light of the US Supreme Court ruling that the military commission process is illegal.

K. Beazley, Transcript of doorstop interview AWU National Day of Action, 30 June 2006.

30 June 2006

Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, says that Hicks will be able to serve his sentence in Australia because of a prisoner transfer agreement with the US.

Australia negotiates deal for Hicks to serve time at home , Canberra Times, 30 June 2006

1 July 2006

Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, says David Hicks should be entitled to a fair trial in the US. He says either Mr Hicks should face trial or Prime Minister Howard should insist he be sent home in the same way that UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, insisted on the return of British detainees to the UK.

K. Beazley, Transcript of doorstop interview, Family Fun Day, Cleveland Queensland , 1 July 2006.

1 July 2006

  R. Peake, PM still seeks US trial for Hicks , Canberra Times, 1 July 2006

2 July 2006

A media report questions the pursuit of Mr Hicks by the Prime Minister as well as the advice that the Prime Minister readily accepts from the US government.

M. Grattan, Opinion: Howards crusade the cross Hicks has to bear , Sun-Herald, 2 July 2006.

3 July 2006

Editorial opinion sees the Supreme Court ruling as another delay (lasting possibly years) to a trial for Mr Hicks and other detaineees. The White House has indicated no detainees will be released without trial before a military tribunal or sent to another country to continue their detention. But the US Congress would have to pass legislation so the Supreme Court can allow trials or courts martials to take place as soon as possible.

Editorial, American court s supreme injustice , The Australian, 3 July 2006

3 July 2006

Neil James, Executive Director of the Australian Defence Association, says we cannot release Guantanamo Bay detainees who are considered combatants due to a range of legal, moral, humanitarian, strategic and operational reasons. He says there is a risk that those who are released while the conflict is continuing could take up arms again against us.

N. James, Letter: Misinterpreting the Guantanamo ruling , The Age, 3 July 2006.

3 July 2006

NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, Nick Cowdrey, Senator Steve Fielding and Liberal Senator Guy Barnett, separately criticise the fact that, after four and a half years, Mr Hicks has still not faced justice.

A. Stafford, Pressure mounts to bring Hicks home, QC, Senators say its time for justice , The Age, 3 July 2006.

3 July 2006

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer dismisses the accusation by the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions, Nick Cowdrey, that the Australian Government should have acted a long time ago to bring Mr Hicks back home.

The Hon. Alexander Downer, Doorstop interview , Melbourne, 3 July 2006.

4 July 2006

Gerard Henderson, Executive Director of the Sydney Institute, comments that while Mr Hicks needs justice in a court and that his incarceration has been 'unduly harsh', there is no need to dismiss his admission of having trained with al-Qaeda.

G. Henderson, Opinion: Clear case of misplaced sympathy , Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July 2006.

4 July 2006

According to Major Michael Mori, double jeopardy laws in the US mean Mr Hicks cannot be tried in a second court of law.

P. Coorey, Second trial is out: Lawyer , Sydney Morning Herald, 4 July 2006.

4 July 2006

It is claimed that alliance considerations and personal loyalty have been at play in Prime Minister Howard s acceptance of the US Government s military commission trials. Now the Prime Minister wants the US Government to use an alternative trial acceptable to the US Supreme Court. Several experts disagree with the Government s response to David Hicks's case.

P. Debelle and M. Grattan, The Trials of David Hicks [and] What Hicks is accused of [and] Always faithful: the military lawyer who will not be tamed , The Age, 4 July 2006.

4 July 2006

A newspaper poll invites readers to vote as to whether David Hicks should be returned to serve a future sentence in Australia-30 percent say Yes while 74 percent say No.

Voteline: Yesterdays result: Do you believe terror suspect Hicks is being denied justice and should be brought home to Australia , Daily Telegraph, 5 July 2006.

4 July 2006

Gerard Henderson comments that the setback to President Bush, arising from the decision of the US Supreme Court on the Hamdan v Bush case, may also be a setback for David Hicks. David Hicks has, in letters to his father, declared himself a Taliban member and advocated strict Islamic law. An unintended consequence of the US Supreme Court decision means that Mr Hicks s case will be delayed further.

G. Henderson, Blow to Bush may hit Hicks , West Australian, 4 July 2006.

4 July 2006

  M. Gawenda, Republicans seek special laws for Guantanamo detainees , The Age, 4 July 2006.

5 July 2006

This opinion piece lists the facts regarding what Mr Hicks has been charged with and questions how sympathisers could want him back.

A. Bolt, Opinion: Who wants him?, Herald Sun, 5 July 2006.

5 July 2006

Prime Minister John Howard is firmly standing by the need for Mr Hicks to be tried in the US-whether by a court martial, q different style of military commission or a civilian court. This follows the decision of the US Supreme Court that the current military commission trials are illegal.

J. Kerin, PM: Hicks should be tried in the US , Australian Financial Review, 5 July 2006.

8 July 2006

In a phone call to his father David Hicks says he has felt 'pushed all the time' at Guantanamo Bay. His chair, table, books, pen and paper have been removed.

M. Wilkinson, I can t take much more, Hicks tells his father Sydney Morning Herald 8 July 2006.

9 July 2006

  A. Bolt, Opinion: The case Hicks must answer , Sunday Mail, 9 July 2006

10 July 2006

  M. Gawenda, Rebuff is just a hiccup in Bush v Hicks , Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 2006

11 July 2006

  R. Thakur, It s time now to end the travesty that is Guantanamo Bay , Canberra Times, 11 July 2006

12 July 2006

Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, does not think David Hicks will gain through the US Supreme Court decision that Article 3 of the Geneva Convention must apply to the Guantanamo Bay detainees. Mr Hicks has been kept in isolation for the last three months, and after the recent suicides of three fellow detainees he was stripped of personal items including books, cards and pens.

ABC Radio, Foreign Minister says things will not change for David Hicks despite US Supreme Court ruling , PM, 12 July 2006

12 July 2006

The Law Council of Australia says that the Pentagon announcement to treat the detainees at Guantanamo Bay in accordance with the Geneva Convention is of little value and will not compensate David Hicks and other detainees for the hardship they have endured over the last five years.

Law Council of Australia, Geneva Convention back-flip an empty gesture for Guantanamo Bay detainees, media release, 12 July 2006.

13 July 2006

  M. Gawenda, Hicks no closer to facing court despite memo from Pentagon , Sydney Morning Herald, 13 July 2006.

13 July 2006

David Hicks is alleged to have been one of seven Australians who had links to the LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba). Mr Hicks is said to be the first Australian to have had connections with LeT, having trained with the group for a total of twelve weeks-first in 2000 and then following the September 11 attacks in 2001.

M. Gawenda and B. Nicholson, Pentagon memo should get Hicks out of solitary: lawyer , The Age, 13 July 2006

13 July 2006

  M. Chulov, Opinion: Aussies crucial to global reach of terror group , The Australian, 13 July 2006.

15 July 2006

A US newspaper report, reprinted in the Canberra Times, notes confusion among US Senators in a Congressional Committee hearing as to how the US Government will respond to the Supreme Court Hamdan decision of 29 June. [M. Talev], Confusion on military tribunals, Senators in a quandary , Canberra Times, 15 July 2006

17 July 2006

The Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, hopes David Hicks is brought to trial as soon as possible and does not see the application of the Geneva Convention to the detainees as an issue.

The Hon. A. Downer, MP, Transcript of doorstop , 17 July 2006

18 July 2006

Malcolm Fraser, a former Liberal Prime Minister, says Robert Menzies (also a former Liberal Prime Minister) would not have allowed David Hicks to be tried by a US military commission, and claims that a change in relations in recent times has seen American interests favoured more than Australian interests.

R. Skelton, Fraser rebukes Howard over US attack on Latham , The Age, 18 July 2006

20 July 2006

 

[No author], Campaign for Hicks repatriation , Canberra Times, 20 July 2006

21 July 2006

  V. Allen, Plans for Guantanamo detainee trial outlined Canberra Times, 21 July 2006

22 July 2006

  L. Kirk, Australian justice for Hicks? Independent Weekly, 22 July 2006

23 July 2006

  J. Dowling, Enough is enough: Hulls demands action on Hicks , Age, 23 July 2006

27 July 2006

 

[No author], Rights lost under new draft for terror trials , Canberra Times, 27 July 2006

28 July 2006

  AAP, A-Gs clash over terrorist suspect Australian Financial Review , 28 July 2006

29 July 2006

The Attorneys-General of Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT were unable to get the Commonwealth Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, to commit to getting the US to provide a fair trial within six months.

R. Peake, No commitment on Hicks trial , Canberra Times, 29 July 2006

4 August 2006

Jon Stanhope, ACT Chief Minister, nominates Terry Hicks as Father of the Year for his ongoing 'stoicism and courtesy' in fighting for his son David.

R. Peake, Hicks Sr Father of the Year , Canberra Times, 4 August 2006.

9 August 2006

Senator Stott Despoja sets up a motion to force a vote in the Senate to acknowledge the US Supreme court ruling that the military commission process is illegal and to accept the findings of an international human rights report with regard to Guantanamo Bay.

N. Stott-Despoja, Senator, Foreign Affairs-Mr. David Hicks , Senate Journal 92, item 19, 9 August 2006.

14 August 2006

David Hicks could be in prison in Guantanamo Bay for seven years before he faces trial according to his US lawyer Major Michael Mori. An appeal against the new trial process is considered inevitable by lawyers for the terrorist suspects.

T. Allard, Hicks could spend seven years in Guantanamo says Mori, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 August 2006.

15 August 2006

The Shadow Minister for Health, Julia Gillard, says that while David Hicks should be punished if he has committed an offence, it has been a long time getting him the opportunity of a fair trial.

Julia Gillard, MP, Doorstop interview, 15 August 2006. 

15 August 2006

Liberal MP Danna Vale, calls on the Prime Minister to bring David Hicks back as he has served more time than some murderers in Australia. She is backed by Coalition MPs Petro Geogiou, Judi Moylan and Bruce Baird.

S. Maiden, Hicks punished enough: MPs , The Australian, 15 August 2006.

15 August 2006

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock says he would bring David Hicks back home if the US Government did not proceed quickly to bring Mr Hicks to trial.

T. Allard, Hicks may be home by Christmas , Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2006.

16 August 2006

The Government voted against a motion by Senator Bob Brown that David Hicks be treated like a citizen of the United States.

Senator Bob Brown, Government blocks Hicks move, media release, 16 August 2006

16 August 2006

According to Terry Hicks, David Hicks will challenge the new military commission trial process.

[No author], Hicks to launch challenge , Canberra Times, 16 August 2006.

16 August 2006

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock warns there could be further delays ahead for Mr Hicks if his lawyers appeal against the new military commission process. It is suggested David Hicks could be brought back to Australia if he accepts a plea bargain or the US Government drops the charges.

S. Maiden, Ruddock warns of further Hicks delay , The Australian, 16 August 2006.

17 August 2006

Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, compares the Hicks case with that of men charged with gang rapes in Sydney, in which their case was resolved five years later.

S. Maiden Ruddock compares Hicks to jailed gang of rapists , The Australian, 17 August 2006.

17 August 2006

Shadow Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says that Mr Ruddock was wrong to compare the process, time and results of the Hicks case with the case of the jailed gang rapists.

Nicola Roxon, MP, Ruddock plumbs new depths, media release, 17 August 2006.

17 August 2006

A media report says Major Michael Mori refers to Hicks s offences as poor decisions and that while the legal issues of his incarceration are complex the moral issues are quite clear.

M. Devine, Hicks from failed martyr to cult figure , Sydney Morning Herald, 17 August 2006.

17 August 2006

David Hicks s US lawyer, Major Michael Mori, says that Mr Hicks should be moved out of solitary confinement where he is held up to 23 hours a day without sunlight.

K. Ingram, Call to remove Hicks from solitary confinement , Canberra Times, 17 August 2006.

17 August 2006

Geoffrey Robertson QC says that those who ignore the Geneva Convention by not offering a fair trial to prisoners of war are in grave danger of being complicit in breaching international law.

G. Robertson, QC, In thrall to the Bush lawyers , The Age, 17 August 2006.

18 August 2006

Major Mori says he will never feel encouraged about David Hicks's situation until David gets off a plane in Australia.

A. Fraser, Don t be fooled again by US: Hicks lawyer , Canberra Times, 18 August 2006

19 August 2006

Major Michael Mori visits Australia to talk to parliamentarians, university groups, the media and other audiences to encourage support for David Hicks's return to Australia.

A. Fraser, Leading the charge to bring Hicks home , Canberra Times, 19 August 2006.

19 August 2006

Major Mori says the Australian Government s acceptance of Mr Hicks s treatment would never be tolerated by the US Government for one of its own citizens.

A. Mather, Long fight for Hicks justice comes to town , The Mercury, 19 August 2006.

21 August 2006

David Hicks and other detainees at Guantanamo Bay have had legal documents seized in a raid by US Navy investigators.

P. Coorey, Hicks legal papers seized Sydney Morning Herald , 21 August 2006.

24 August 2006

  V. Edwards, Hicks lawyer plans citizenship appeal , The Australian, 2006.

24 August 2006

A petition demanding the return of David Hicks, signed by more than 50 000 people, is to be handed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer.

Thousands back return of Hicks The Advertiser, 24 August 2006

26 August 2006

The Opposition Leader, Mr Beazley, says the death penalty is unacceptable for Mr Hicks. He says while he trusts the US civilian judicial system, it is important to try Mr Hicks in such a system or bring him home.

The Hon K. Beazley, MP, Doorstop interview, 26 August 2006.

26 August 2006

  W. Crawford, Left to suffer , Hobart Mercury, 26 August 2006.

27 August 2006

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says that Mr Hicks will not face the death penalty and that the original assurance given by the US Government would remain even with a new trial system.

[No author], No death penalty for Hicks , Sun - Herald, 27 August 2006.

27 August 206

David Hicks receives and then is stripped of his British citizenship after a few hours because of new amendments to UK citizenship laws.

A. Crabbe, Hicks cast out after day as British citizen , Age, 27 August 2006.

29 August 2006

The new US ambassador to Australia, Robert McCallum, gives assurances that David Hicks will not receive the death penalty if found guilty.

L. Dodson, No death penalty for Hicks says envoy , Sydney Morning Herald, 29 August 2006.

31 August 2006

David Hicks hopes for a modified control order or curfew if he is allowed back in Australia.

M. Dunn, Hick wants home curfew , Herald Sun, 31 August 2006.

1 September 2006

It is reported that David Hicks would not receive any credit for time already spent in Guantanamo Bay if he is convicted and that if the new military commission process is challenged Mr Hicks might spend another two years in jail.

P. Coorey, Five years detention would not be deducted from Hicks sentence , Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 2006.

2 September 2006

There are concerns that advice by military lawyers about the admission of secret evidence to the new military commission is not being heeded.

C. Savage, US terror tribunals opposed: Advice of military lawyers ignored , The Age, 2 September 2006.

3 September 2006

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock states that while the US Government should charge David Hicks as soon as possible it is not at fault for the delay.

Channel 10, The Hon. Philip Ruddock, MP, 'Attorney-General discusses David Hicks; control orders; civil liberties; and whether 'war on terror' is actually a 'war'' Meet the Press, 3 September 2006.

6 September 2006

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley comments on the appointment of the new US ambassador to Australia, Robert McCallum and says that David Hicks needs to have access to a fair trial as a matter of urgency .

The Hon. Kim Beazley, MP, United States Ambassador Robert McCallum, Press release, 6 September, 2006.

6 September 2006

President Bush admits to secret detention places for terrorists in a program used by the CIA after 11 September 2001. He is proposing legislation requesting the authorisation of military commissions to try suspected terrorists, including David Hicks.

President Bush, President discusses creation of military commissions to try suspected terrorists, Whitehouse News Release, 6 September 2006.

6 September 2006

In light of the Hamdan decision of 29 June, the White House Administration presents the Military Commissions Bill for authorisation by Congress.

Fact Sheet: The Administration s legislation to create military commissions , 6 September 2006.

6 September 2006

  G. Barker, Beazley affirms US alliance , Australian Financial Review, 6 September 2006.

7 September 2006

The Australian Senate supports a motion passed by Senator Brown that the Geneva Conventions be upheld regardless of where or by whom they are breached. Senator Brown also calls for the Geneva Conventions to be applied to all Guantanamo Bay detainees, including Mr Hicks.

Senator B. Brown, Geneva Conventions upheld, media release, 7 September 2006.

7 September 2006

The Attorney-General, Mr Ruddock, does not think the plan to move high-profile detainees like Hambali to Guantanamo Bay would delay the Hicks case.

The Hon. P. Ruddock, Doorstop interview , 7 September 2006.

8 September 2006

The US lawyer for David Hicks, Major Mori, considers the new military commission process similar to the earlier military commission process in its contravention of the Geneva Conventions. The Head of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, Professor Tim McCormack, agrees.

M. Gawenda, Hicks lawyers see holes in new systems , Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 2006.

8 September 2006

The Law Council of Australia condemns the Military Commission Bill as a political document that will not provide a fair trial.

Law Council of Australia, Nothing but rough justice in new military commission proposals, media release, 8 September 2006.

14 September 2006

Charles Falconer, UK Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and a close ally of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, comments that Guantanamo Bay is 'an affront to the principles of democracy'.

Reuters wire, Guantanamo Bay an affront The Age, 14 September 2006.

18 September 2006

Media reports claim the Australian Government has a legitimate right to pursue David Hicks being returned as a POW and that the Government could maintain its stance against terrorism while upholding humanitarian considerations on behalf of its citizens.

D. Rothwell, Opinion: Regardless of alleged crimes Hicks deserves basic rights , Canberra Times, 18 September 2006.

23 September 2006

It is reported that Terry Hicks is committed to doing whatever it takes to help his son. Biographical details of both Terry and David Hicks are presented in an interview with Terry Hicks.

F. Souter, In the name of the son , Sydney Morning Herald, 23 September 2006.

23 September 2006

Australian lawyers for David Hicks, David McLeod and Michael Griffin, say they face extradition charges by the US Government if they release classified evidence about the case.

F. Souter, US made Hicks lawyers sign strict secrecy agreement, The Age, 23 September 2006.

23 September 2006

Senator Linda Kirk (ALP), says the proposed new system denies defendants access to classified evidence and also depends on 'unreliable' evidence.

L. Kirk, New move over Hicks not better , Independent Weekly, 23 September 2006.

29 September 2006

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, is confident the Hicks case will be expedited through a fair process and that Mr Hicks will not face the death penalty.

ABC Radio, North America visit Breakfast, 29 September 2006.

29 September 2006

Having met with Department of Defense and State Department representatives as well as US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock responds to questions on the timing of the new military commission process, the possibility of changes to the charges David Hicks faces and the torture legislation.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, Doorstop interview, Washington D.C., 29 September 2006.

29 September 2006

Mr Ruddock is confident of the fairness of the newly legislated military commission process.

The Hon. Philip Ruddock, Doorstop interview, 29 September 2006

29 September 2006

The US Congress passes the Military Commissions Act which will determine how the US Government detains and tries a terrorist suspect.

US Department of State, Congress passes legislation on questioning, trying detainees, 29 September 2006.

Text of Military Commissions Act 2006 (Public Law 109-366).

30 September 2006

David Hicks s US lawyer, Major Mori, says that the Australian Government should protect Mr Hicks as the new legislation is not going to help him. It is expected that the legislation will be challenged again in the US courts.

P. Mitchell, Terror laws won t help Hicks: lawyer , Canberra Times, 30 September 2006.

30 September 2006

It is reported that the US ambassador to Australia, Robert McCallum, sees David Hicks as an enemy combatant and therefore dangerous and not ready to be released to Australia.

B. Nicholson, Hicks qualifies as an enemy combatant , The Age, 30 September 2006.

30 September 2006

Greens Leader, Senator Bob Brown, is angry about the US Ambassador s comments on David Hicks.

Senator B. Brown, Greens slam US ambassador s Hicks outburst, press release, 30 September, 2006

1 October 2006

  Government backs trial plan for Hicks, Canberra Times, 1 October 2006

1 October 2006

Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says he does not regard sleep deprivation [for Guantanamo Bay detainees] as torture.

ABC TV, 'Attorney-General discusses US military commissions for trying terrorists; torture; Noongar native title claim; and AWB.' Insiders, 1 October 2006.

1 October 2006

Greens Senator Bob Brown says Mr Ruddock's comments on torture are dangerous as they disregard international conventions against torture. Senator Bob Brown, Ruddock's torture comments "dangerous" - Greens, press release, 1 October 2006.

2 October 2006

Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon questions how Philip Ruddock, as Attorney-General, deviates from a bipartisan Australian commitment to oppose all forms of torture.

N. Roxon, MP, Ruddock out of step with torture, media release, 5 October 2006.

2 October 2006

  P. Coorey, New US trials are worse , Sydney Morning Herald, 2 October 2006.

3 October 2006

Amnesty International rejects the Attorney-General s comment that sleep deprivation is not torture. It is disappointed more so because Mr Ruddock is a long-time member of Amnesty International and a leading member of the Parliamentary Amnesty International Group .

ABC Radio, Sleep deprivation remains red hot question , PM, 3 October 2006.

4 October 2006

  B. Nicholson, US release of Britons won t aid Hicks , The Age, 4 October 2006.

5 October 2006

The Prime Minister John Howard says the allegations of abuse against David Hicks have not been established.

ABC Radio, Transcript of Interview, ABC Adelaide 891 Morning Program, 5 October 2006.

7 October 2006

  T. Dornin, Hicks health slipping: lawyer , Canberra Times, 7 October 2006.

7 October 2006

  P. Coorey, Put Hicks under control order at home say worried lawyers , Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 2006.

8 October 2006

  J. Elder, Marine tells of Guantanamo Bay abuse , Sunday Age, 8 October 2006

9 October 2006

It is claimed that, although David Hicks has been in solitary confinement since April, the Australian Government relies on media guidance from the Joint Task Force in Guantanamo Bay and the Pentagon to deny claims of abuse and isolation.

R. Baker, What the US says about Hicks is good enough for Canberra , The Age, 9 October 2006.

10 October 2006

Australia s senior church leaders, Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen and his Catholic counterpart, George Pell, condemn the lengthy detention without trial of David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay.

R. Baker, Pleas from churches for Hicks: delays an abuse of human rights , Sydney Morning Herald, 10 October 2006.

11 October 2006

The US Navy Criminal Investigative Service says there is no abuse of David Hicks but Mr Hicks's lawyer says this is the 'biggest cover-up of all time'. An affidavit by a marine says there were routine beatings.

R. Baker, US inquiry into jail abuse a cover up: Hicks lawyer , Sydney Morning Herald, 11 October 2006.

12 October 2006

US military lawyer for David Hicks, Major Mori, says that supportive messages to his client are being deleted and mail was being delayed for some months as a means of creating a sense of hopelessness.

R. Baker, Letters to Hicks censored, lawyers says , The Age, 12 October 2006.

12 October 2006

With the introduction of the Military Commissions Act 2006, there is little hope for habeas corpus as a legal right to the Guantanamo detainees.

S. Drumgold, US military trials law gives the last rites to habeas corpus , Canberra Times, 12 October 2006.

12 October 2006 The US Congressional Research Services issues an analysis of the Military Commissions Act.

J. Elsea, The Military Commissions Act of 2006: Analysis of Procedural Rules and Comparison with Previous DOD Rules and the Uniform Code of Military Justice

12 October 2006

In an annual report on human rights throughout the world, the British Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, says the Guantanamo BayCamp is unacceptable and counter-productive.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Human Rights : Annual Report 2006 (Cm 6916);

[No author], Detention doesn't work: Britain , Canberra Times, 14 October 2006.

16 October 2006

Senator Bob Brown s request to visit David Hicks is being considered by the Australian Government. The US ambassador Robert McCallum has written to Senator Brown advising that the Australian Government s approval is needed. The Government is now consulting with Washington.

Senator Bob Brown, Door left open for Brown visit to Guantanamo Bay, media release, 16 October 2006

16 October 2006

It is reported that military lawyers defending Guantanamo Bay detainees have been intimidated for exposing detainee abuse. Lieutenant Colonel Colby Vokey and Sergeant Heather Cerveny are reported to have been cautioned against speaking to the media.

C. Williams, Shut up or else, military tells Guantanamo lawyers , Sydney Morning Herald, 16 October 2006

17 October 2006

Federal Minister, Senator Helen Coonan, says there is no evidence of David Hicks having been abused in Guantanamo Bay.

MP denies abuse talk , Daily Telegraph, 17 October 2006

18 October 2006

Lawyers for David Hicks hope that, if they can strike a deal with the Australian Government, Mr Hicks will be brought back to Australia while he is not charged and placed under a control order. Failing this, the lawyers will seek to appeal against the military commission process.

ABC Radio, Lawyers want a non-military trial for David Hicks , PM, 18 October 2006

18 October 2006

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Reconciliation and the Arts, Peter Garrett, questions what Christian value there is in the detention of David Hicks.

P. Garrett, Peacemaking for Christians in the Twenty-First Century , address to the St Thomas More s Forum, 18 October 2006.

19 October 2006

The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says that David Hicks has the option to plead not guilty or to enter into plea bargaining which would mean a lesser sentence.

ABC Radio, Transcript of interview, ABC 774 Morning Program, 19 October 2006.

19 October 2006

According to Terry Hicks, David Hicks s lawyers will appeal against the revamped military commission trial process.

[No author] Appeal over Hicks trial delay Adelaide Advertiser, 19 October 2006.

19 October 2006

Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, says that David Hicks should be brought home and managed with control orders if he cannot be prosecuted.

N. Roxon, MP, Hicks: enough is enough, media release, 19 October 2006.

19 October 2006

It is reported that the new Military Commissions Act 2006 provides a legal framework for the military commission to try suspected terrorists, but that it also allows the CIA to continue with harsh interrogation tactics and denies detainees the right to challenge their detention in civil courts.

[No author] Hicks to be tried under new laws , The Australian, 19 October 2006.

October 2006

The Center for Constitutional Rights lists a number of questions and responses regarding the new Military Commissions Act.

Center for Constitutional Rights, Questions and Answers about the MCA , October 2006.

20 October 2006

David Hicks's father and his US lawyer say that Mr Hicks will not be pleading guilty to charges before the new trial system in order to get home.

B. Nicholson, Hicks won t bargain: father , The Age, 20 October 2006.

20 October 2006

Former diplomat Richard Woolcott criticises what he says is the Government s pro-American stance that allows it to undermine human rights in the Hicks case.

S. Smiles, Diplomat lashes out , The Age, 20 October 2006.

21 October 2006

Justice Minister, Senator Chris Ellison says the Government is concerned that David Hicks has been incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay for five years and that he has conveyed this concern to the US Government.

[No author] Hicks case concerns , Adelaide Advertiser, 21 October 2006.

25 October 2006

Media reports claim that the US Government is not investigating abuse claims raised by David Hicks s family and his US lawyer Major Michael Mori.

R. Baker, No inquiry into Hicks claims: US refuse to investigate abuse , The Age, 25 October 2006

26 October 2006

The Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Irene Khan, writes an open letter to the Prime Minister of Australia stating the case to bring David Hicks home. She requests Mr Howard oppose the use of torture and calls for the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

I. Khan, Bring David home: Open letter to the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon J. Howard , The Australian, 26 October 2006.

28 October 2006

Ruhal Ahmed, a former British Guantanamo Bay detainee and one of the so called "Tipton Three" is refused a visa to enter Australia on the advice of ASIO. Ruhal is the subject of a film by Michael Winterbottom, The Road to Guantanamo Bay, and he was to help launch the film.

G. Maddox, ASIO thwarts film production , Sydney Morning Herald, 28 October 2006

1 November 2006

Irene Khan, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, is planning to mobilise an international campaign to support David Hicks. She thinks the Australian Government has behaved 'outrageously' towards Mr Hicks and that it has abandoned him.

ABC Radio, Amnesty chief to accept Sydney Peace Prize , AM, 1 November 2006.

1 November 2006

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) appeal to six international law experts of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, challenging the United States Military Commissions Act of 2006. There is concern this Act does not respect 'international human rights law - especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a party - and humanitarian law'.

Center for Constitutional Rights, Military Commissions Act faces international challenge, press release, 1 November, 2006.

1 November 2006

The Law Council of Australia does not think the Military Commissions Act will provide a fair trial for David Hicks. It claims that Mr Hicks could be convicted on evidence he will not be able to see himself and evidence that may have been obtained by coercion and from witnesses whom he will not be able to cross-examine.

Law Council of Australia, Bring home David Hicks: it s a no-brainer, media release, 1 November 2006.

1 November 2006

Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja (Democrats) says the new military commissions would still breach international laws and standards of justice. She also congratulates Irene Khan, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, for her call to bring David Hicks home.

Senator N. Stott-Despoja, Amnesty joins call to bring Hicks home, press release, 1 November 2006.

2 November 2006

In an address to staff at Parliament House (Canberra), Major Mori, US lawyer for David Hicks, speaks out on the problems that the new Military Commissions Act poses for detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

2 November 2006

The Center for Constitutional Rights files briefs in two cases Al Odah v United States of America, and Boumediene v Bush representing detainees in Guantanamo Bay, including David Hicks. The Center seeks to argue that the Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional.

Center for Constitutional Rights argues to court that the Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional, press release, 2 November 2006.
9 November 2006 A group of eminent lawyers provides an opinion to the Law Council that the military commission process is a breach of international law.

A. Nicholson [et al], David Hicks – Military Commissions Act 2006 – Compliance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions , the Hamdan Decision and Australian Law, Human Rights Law Resource Centre, 2006

10 November 2006

State Attorneys-General want the Federal Government to do more to get David Hicks a fair trial by the US Government. They plan to write to the Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

ABC TV, Attorneys-General call for Hicks action , Lateline, 10 November 2006.

17 November 2006

David Hicks's father, Terry Hicks, meets Attorney-General Philip Ruddock for the first time since David Hicks s arrest almost five years ago.

ABC Radio news, Ruddock agrees to investigate Hicks health , 17 November 2006.

17 November 2006

It is reported that President Bush has told Prime Minister John Howard that David Hicks will be one of the first persons to appear in court.

ABC, Radio news, PM raises Hicks case with Bush , 17 November 2006.

28 November 2006

State Attorneys-General are seeking a response from their Federal counterpart, Philip Ruddock, to their call for David Hicks to be returned to Australia to face trial.

ABC, Radio news, A-Gs want action on Hicks , 28 November, 2006.
18 January 2007 The US Government issues its Manual for Military Commissions, consisting of The Preamble, The Rules for Military Commissions, the Military Commission Rules of Evidence, and the Crimes and Elements.

Text of Manual; US Dept of Defense press briefing on the new military commission rules;

Analysis of the Manual, by James Montgomery S.C.

1 February 2007 Several Federal politicians, led by Australian Democrats leader, Senator Lyn Allison, and Shadow Attorney-General, Kelvin Thomson, send a letter to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, asking for the US Congress to assist in the repatriation of David Hicks to Australia.

Senator Lyn Allison, Australian parliamentarians ask US Congress to bring David Hicks home, press release, 2 February 2007; Text of letter dated 1 February 2007.

2 February 2007 New draft charges are laid against David Hicks under the Military Commissions Act 2006 by the Chief Prosecutor, Office of Military Commissions: (1) Providing material support for terrorism; and (2) Attempted murder in violation of the law of war. These charges are awaiting approval by the Convening Authority for Military Commissions.

US v Hicks, Draft charge sheet, Office of Military Commissions, 2 February 2007.

5 February 2007 Attorney-General Philip Ruddock denies that the charges against David Hicks are retrospective.

ABC Radio 666 Canberra, Attorney-General discusses David Hicks after US charges him with providing material support for terrorism and attempted murder, Transcript, 5 February 2007.

15 February 2007 Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade officials answer detailed questions in a Senate Estimates hearing about David Hicks's trial process.

Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Estimates hearing, pp 6-29

20 February 2007 A US Federal Appeals Court affirms the Government's right to remove the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge and appeal the legality of their detention.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Boumediene v Bush (05-5062); Odah v US (05-5064)

1 March 2007

Final charges approved and issued by the Convening Authority for Military Commissions. The second charge, that of attempted murder in violation of the law of war, is dropped.

US v Hicks, Final charge sheet, Convening Authority for Military Commissions, 1 March 2007.

1 March 2007 The Australian Lawyers Alliance releases a paper on the military commission process and concludes that it is an 'unjust system'.

Australian Lawyers Alliance, An Analysis of the US Military Commissions: an Unjust System: an Expert Panel Report.

6 March 2007 The Law Council of Australia writes a four page letter to Senators urging them to press for the repatriation of Mr Hicks as soon as possible.

Law Council of Australia, Law Council to MPs: Release Hicks Now – the Clock is Ticking, media release, 6 March 2007. For other material from the Law Council on David Hicks, see its page David Hicks - Five Years Without Justice.

8 March 2007

Mr Hicks challenges the Government in the Federal Court over its refusal to arrange his return to Australia to stand trial and over its conduct in relation to his detention. Leave was granted for a hearing.

Hicks v Ruddock [2007] FCA 299

8 March 2007 The Law Council releases legal advice from eminent jurists that the charges against David Hicks are retrospective.

P. Vickery [et al], Advice in the matter of the legality of the charge against David Hicks

20 March 2007 David Hicks's defence team unsuccessfully applies to the District Court to enjoin (delay) the military commission hearing until the Supreme Court makes a ruling in the Boumediene case.

US District Court for the District of Columbia, US v Hicks (02-299).

26 March 2007 Arraignment of David Hicks by the military commission. This is the process in a criminal trial in which the indictment is read to an accused who is asked how they plead to the count(s) in the indictment. In a pre-trial agreement, David Hicks pleads guilty to the charge of providing material support for terrorism and agrees not to, amongst other things, appeal his conviction and sentence and not to comment to the media. In return the Convening Authority for Military Commissions agrees to a suspended sentence of not more than nine months, to be served in an Australian prison.

US v Hicks, Offer for a pretrial agreement.

S. Tully, 'Australian Detainee Pleads Guilty before the First Military Commission', ASIL Insights, 23 April 2007;
ABC Radio, 'Prime Minister says David Hicks could serve his sentence at home', PM, 27 March 2007;
J. Albrechtsen, 'Gun-toting jihadi was not an angel', Australian, 28 March 2007;
C. Merritt, 'Easy way to dodge account of crimes', Australian, 28 March 2007;
ABC 5AA Radio Adelaide, 'Foreign Minister discusses guilty plea by David Hicks', 28 March 2007;
ABC Radio, 'Liberal ministers are pleased with developments in David Hicks' trial', AM, 28 March 2007;
A. Lynch, 'Guilt in the minor league', Age, 28 March 2007.

29 March 2007

David Hicks, his lawyer and the prosecution issue a joint statement of agreed facts to be given to the military commission. The statement includes facts agreed by David Hicks in his pretrial agreement of 26 March.

US v Hicks, Stipulation of fact

29 March 2007 Regulations are passed in Australia to implement a 2006 arrangement between the United States and Australia to ensure that prisoners who are sentenced by a US military commission have the right to apply for transfer to an Australian prison.

International Transfer of Prisoners (Military Commission of the United States of America) Regulations 2007 (Select Legislative Instrument 2007, no. 79) ;
International Transfer of Prisoners (Transfer of Sentenced Persons Convention) Amendment Regulations 2007 (No.1) (Select Legislative Instrument 2007, no. 80) .

Note: The Senate Regulations and Ordinances Committee considered the instruments on 10 May 2007 and wrote a letter to the Attorney-General about SLI no. 79 as it appears to breach the Committee's principles of scrutiny.

30 March 2007 David Hicks is convicted by the military commission of providing material support to a terrorist organisation and is sentenced to not more than nine months imprisonment, to be served in Australia.

US Department of Defense, Detainee Convicted of Terrorism Charge at Guantanamo Trial, press release, 30 March 2007.

April 2007 ABC journalist, Leigh Sales, publishes a book on the Hicks imprisonment and trial. Detainee 002 : the Case of David Hicks. Melbourne University Press, 2007.
ISBN: 9780522854008.
2 April 2007

The US Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal by Guantanamo Bay prisoners that their imprisonment under the Military Commissions Act is unconstitutional, on the grounds that the timing is not right for the court's involvement now.

Boumediene v. Bush (06-1195) and al Odah v. U.S. (06-1196)

2 April 2007 ABC TV Four Corners program broadcasts a story on the David Hicks trial and why he pleaded guilty.

ABC Television, 'David Hicks story', Four Corners, 2 April 2007.

8 April 2007 Senator Stott Despoja criticises the military commission process. N. Stott Despoja, 'Don't keep quiet: it was all a sham', Sunday Age, 8 April 2007
9 April 2007 Professor Hilary Charlesworth says Government support for David Hicks's trial may contravene the Criminal Code and undermines a fair and open legal system. H. Charlesworth, 'Destructive Hicks saga shakes faith in our Govt', Canberra Times, 9 April 2007.
11 April 2007 An Australian National University seminar analyses the process by which Mr Hicks was tried by the military commission. David Hicks in Court: an Update on Court Action in Australia and the US (audio link)
26 April 2007

The Commonwealth Government arranges with the South Australian Government for David Hicks to be imprisoned in that State on his return to Australia.

Administrative Arrangement between the Governor-General and the Governor of the State of South Australia relating to the international transfer of prisoners (Special Gazette no. S 79, 27/4/07)

27 April 2007 The US Government issues regulations for conducting military commission trials.

US Department of Defense, Regulation for Trial by Military Commissions, 27 April 2007.

18 May 2007 The ABC issues an indepth background webpage on the David Hicks story with background stories, analysis, pictures, audio and video. ABC Online, Five years in captivity
20 May 2007 David Hicks returns to Australia and is transferred to Yatala Prison in South Australia. Hon. A. Downer MP, David Hicks is transferred to Australia under the international transfer of prisoner's scheme, Press release, 20 May 2007
20 May 2007 The Attorney-General reflects on the Hicks saga and whether Mr Hicks will be subject to a control order on release. When asked if he would have done anything differently, he says that he would have made it better known the level of concern the Government had and the repeated representations it was making to the US to bring the process forward. ABC television, 'Ruddock says AFP to decide on Hicks control order,' Insiders, 20 May 2007
21 May 2007 Professor Tim McCormack assesses the military commission process and concludes that it has an inherently political character and potentially poses 'irreparable damage' to the rule of law. T. McCormack, 'The David Hicks trial was a political fix by two governments', Age, 21 May 2007.
31 December 2007 David Hicks's scheduled release, nine months after his conviction on 30 March 2007.  

For copyright reasons some linked items are only available to members of Parliament.

Chronologies are written for members of Parliament, being located on the Internet they can be read by members of the public. However, some linked items are available to members of Parliament only, due to copyright reasons.

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