02 January 2007

"Abominable": senior Australian military lawyer's description of Hicks situation

Brigadier Lyn McDade, the first director of military prosecutions of the newly established Australian Military Court, has, as the Sydney Morning Herald reports, described David Hicks' continued detention as "abominable":

"Quite frankly, I think it's wrong. I don't care what he's done or alleged to have done. I think he's entitled to a trial and a fair one and he is entitled to be charged and dealt with as quickly as is possible. As is anybody."

In a report just posted on the SMH website Attorney -General somewhat surprisingly is quoted as supporting Brig McDade's opinion:

"It reflects the Government's position," Mr Ruddock said.

"The fact that a trial has not yet occurred frustrates us and we have been arguing very strongly with the United States that these issues need to be resolved quickly.

"We believe the delay is very unreasonable and inappropriate and that's why we've been arguing that it needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible."

Mr Ruddock is assuming that there will be no challenge to the second set of regulations establishing a US military commission. If there is such a challenge, what will he and Mr Howard do: keep sitting on their hands and wait until the matter is heard by the US courts, or say "enough is enough" and request Hicks's return to Australia? Their previous course of conduct suggests the former.

Update 3 January 6.15pm CST

The SMH website now has an updated report by Brendan Nicholson which contains much the same information as the earlier reports , though with something extra, a classic piece of doublespeak which sounds more Rumsfeldian than Ruddockian:

Asked whether he agreed with Brigadier McDade's view that the treatment of Mr Hicks had been abominable, Mr Ruddock said: "I agree with the Prime Minister, who frequently says numbers of people express themselves in different ways but have the same meaning and intention."

Tim Dunlop at Blogocracy also makes some pithy comments.

1 comment:

Noel said...

The groundswell continues . . but needs yet more support. I have run out of ideas about how to bring this matter to a head