David Matthew Hicks (born 7 August 1975) is an Australian who, after five years detention by the United States government under suspicion of involvement with terrorism, became the first Guantánamo Bay detainee to be convicted under the U.S. Military Commissions Act of 2006.
In 2001, under the alias Muhammed Dawood (the latter being the Arabic form of "David"), Hicks undertook military training in al Qaeda-linked camps and served with the Taliban in Afghanistan. He was captured by the Northern Alliance, handed over to the US military, designated an unlawful combatant and held at Guantánamo Bay, during which he alleged he was mistreated.
In 2007, under a pre-trial agreement with convening authority Judge Susan J. Crawford, Hicks pled guilty before a United States military tribunal to a newly codified charge of "providing material support for terrorism" and was returned to Australia to serve the remaining nine months of a mostly suspended seven-year sentence. This nine month period precluded media contact and drew criticism for delaying his release until after the 2007 Australian election. Hicks' detention without charge, the subsequent trial process and outcome, and the newly invented legal system and charges backdated under which these events took place, drew widespread criticisms and allegations of political manipulation including the fact that he took a plea deal to 'escape the hell' of Guantanamo Bay. He was released from Adelaide's Yatala Labour Prison on 29 December 2007
There is every assumption that Hicks may have been working as an operative for the Government and they wanted to keep it quiet.
· 9 years ago