Skip to comments.British citizenship new hope for Hicks
Posted on 09/25/2005 3:33:13 PM PDT by naturalman1975
IMPRISONED Australian terror suspect David Hicks will seek British nationality in a bid to secure his release from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
Terry Hicks confirmed last night that his son's American and British legal teams were pursuing an application for British citizenship, as part of a new tactic they hope will end his 44 months in US custody.
Britain has successfully secured the release of all its citizens held in Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, with the final nine returned this year. The Blair Government argued there was a lack of legal protection for its prisoners and was critical of the proposed military commission process.
In contrast, the Howard Government has refused to intervene to secure Hicks's release, arguing the planned trial by military commission would be a fair process and that he could not be charged under Australian law.
Hicks, 30, told his American lawyer, Major Michael Mori -- in a conversation about cricket -- that his mother had never taken Australian nationality and still carried a British passport.
His lawyers believe this could give him automatic access to British nationality.
Hicks's lawyers hope the Blair Government will apply the same standards to their client if he becomes a British national and seek his release.
His father Terry told The Australian last night he had spoken to Major Mori about the developments and had been told that until 2002 only children of British fathers could register as British nationals.
Mr Hicks said the law had been changed while David was in Guantanamo Bay and the child of a British mother now had the right to register as a British national. "The report is correct. It was stumbled across by accident. They were talking about the fourth (Ashes) Test," Mr Hicks said. "I didn't even realise myself that she still had a UK passport. I think it's great that he can open another door."
Mr Hicks was not sure if his son's application to become a British national had already been lodged, but Britain's Observer newspaper reported the application had been submitted at the British embassy in Washington on September 16.
Mr Hicks said he was unsure if his son would be allowed to return to Australia if he became a British national and was released.
Adelaide-born Hicks is charged with conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy. He was captured by US forces allegedly fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan in December 2001.
He has been held at Guantanamo Bay since then and his trial at a US military commission is scheduled to start next month.
Hicks's mother, who does not want to be named, was born in the London suburb of Croydon in 1949 and moved to Australia as a child. She and Mr Hicks divorced when David was nine years old.
A spokesman for Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the application was a "private matter" for the Hicks family.
Sounds like the Brits have a cottage business of harboring terrorists.
I'm sure there's a mosque in London he can attend.
There are lots of hicks where I live, but we rednecks outnumber them by far. Foreigners probably wouldn't want to take up residence in East Texas.
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