[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 12:30 GMT
'Australian Taleban' trial delay
David Hicks (archive)
David Hicks has alleged being tortured in prison
A federal judge in the US has suspended the war crimes trial of an Australian prisoner at Guantanamo base in Cuba.

The trial of David Hicks, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 for allegedly fighting against American-led forces, was due to start on Friday.

But it will not begin until the US Supreme Court rules on the legality of military tribunals created to try war crimes suspects.

Mr Hicks has been held at Guantanamo base for more than three years.

He faces charges of conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder and aiding the enemy, but denies all the accusations against him.


The US Supreme Court said last week it would decide whether President George W Bush had the power to create military commissions to put Guantanamo prisoners on trial for war crimes.

Lawyers for Mr Hicks - often referred to as the "Australian Taleban"- asked the judge to delay the proceedings in light of the Supreme Court's review.

The Muslim convert and former abattoir worker is one of nine detainees to be charged. He faces a maximum of life imprisonment.

The Australian authorities have consistently supported the process and have not lobbied Washington for his release.

Mr Hicks, whose mother is a British citizen, has recently applied for a UK passport, in the hope of securing his release.

Meanwhile, a cross party group of US senators have reached a compromise to allow detainees held at Guantanamo Bay to appeal against the findings of military tribunals in federal courts.

The compromise, to be voted on later on Tuesday, gives the automatic right of appeal for any death sentence handed down by a military court or a sentence of 10 years or more in prison.

'Australian Taleban' in UK bid
26 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia's Hicks alleges torture
10 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Terror suspect pleads not guilty
25 Aug 04 |  Americas
The 'Australian Taleban'
10 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific