Mori calls for Hicks release

November 4, 2006

On November 3, 450 people packed the Brisbane Convention Centre to hear a lunchtime address from US Marine Corps Major Michael Mori, the US military-appointed lawyer for Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks.

Mori outlined the disgraceful delays in the sham legal process employed by the US military against Hicks, such as waiting two-and-a-half years before laying any charges, resulting in him being held without trial for more than four years.

Mori noted the irony that while military commissions cannot be used to try US citizens accused of being "illegal combatants", they have been deemed acceptable by the Australian government for the trial of an Australian citizen.

Mori exposed the way the US government has written new laws to try Guantanamo Bay detainees to get around existing international and US laws.

"The burden is on the defence to show the prosecution's evidence is unreliable", Mori said. "But the prosecutor does not have to reveal the source of its evidence." Thus evidence can be obtained under torture, yet the defence would have no legal grounds to challenge the validity of the evidence.

"David Hicks has already served five years in Guantanamo Bay without having been convicted of any crime. Isn't that enough?", Mori concluded.

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