Australian Detainee Found Guilty Of Terrorism Charge


Friday, March 30th 2007, 8:49 am
By: News On 6


GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba (AP) _ An Australian detainee held for five years at Guantanamo Bay was found guilty Friday of providing material support for terrorism, marking the first conviction at a U.S. war-crimes trial since World War II.

David Hicks, a 31-year-old Muslim convert, faces a prison sentence of up to seven years under a plea agreement revealed Friday that also requires Hicks to drop any claims of mistreatment by the U.S. government since he was captured in Afghanistan and taken to Guantanamo Bay, said the judge, Marine Corps Col. Ralph Kohlmann.

The agreement calls for Hicks to be returned to Australia within 60 days of his sentencing, which is expected within days. The U.S. government had previously agreed to let him serve any sentence in Australia.

Hicks, 31, was dressed for the hearing in a gray suit with a dark tie and with his hair newly cut short. The former outback cowboy and kangaroo skinner who aided al-Qaida during the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan showed little emotion as he confirmed to the judge that he conducted surveillance on the former American Embassy in Kabul.

2nd Ld