Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Australian Terrorist Pleads Guilty At Club Gitmo

Australian prisoner David Hicks pleaded guilty on Monday in a U.S. military tribunal to a charge of providing material support to terrorists. The 31-year-old former kangaroo skinner was accused of fighting for al Qaeda in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and has been held at Guantanamo for more than five years. He announced his plea in a hearing in the U.S. war crimes tribunal at the base.
An artist's impression of David Hicks, left, who sits with his defence counsel in the US military courtroom in Guantanamo Bay.
Hicks answered "yes, sir," when the judge, Marine Col. Ralph Kohlmann, asked if that was in fact his plea. Hicks had faced life imprisonment if convicted. The judge ordered the prosecutors and defense lawyers to draw up a plea agreement by 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) on Tuesday, which was expected to spell out what sentence he would serve. Under a long-standing diplomatic agreement, Hicks will serve his sentence in Australia.