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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 19:01 GMT
US terror charges for Australian
David Hicks (file photo)
David Hicks has complained about his treatment
A US military judge has filed terror charges against an Australian held without trial at Guantanamo Bay for five years.

David Hicks, 31, is charged with "providing material support for terrorism", a Pentagon statement said.

The decision comes despite Australian officials asking the United States not to bring such charges.

Mr Hicks was detained in Afghanistan, where he allegedly fought alongside the ruling Taleban against US-led forces.

'Enemy combatant'

Mr Hicks will be the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be charged under a new US law authorising special military trials of "enemy combatants".

A preliminary hearing is expected to be held within 30 days and a jury trial will start within 120 days in accordance with the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

Mr Hicks pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, attempted murder and aiding the enemy before a US military tribunal in 2004, but the charges were dropped when the US Supreme Court ruled that the judicial process was unlawful.

US Vice-President Dick Cheney has said that Mr Hicks would serve his sentence in Australia if convicted.

Both Mr Hicks' lawyers and family have been pushing for a resolution to his situation, saying they fear for his mental health after such a long time in detention without trial.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Australia's PM on the development



SEE ALSO
US vice-president pledge on Hicks
24 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Hicks to return home 'this year'
18 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
US releases details against Hicks
16 Feb 07 |  Asia-Pacific
US has 'strong case' against Hicks
11 Jan 07 |  Asia-Pacific

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