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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 04:42 GMT 05:42 UK
'Australian Taleban' in UK bid
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney

David Hicks (archive)
David Hicks has alleged being tortured in prison
An Australian being held at Guantanamo Bay has applied for a UK passport, in the hope of securing his release.

David Hicks, whose mother is a British citizen, was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001 where he allegedly fought against American-led forces.

His lawyers say the UK is more strident in securing the release of its citizens from Guantanamo Bay than Australia.

Mr Hicks revealed his mother was British by chance in a conversation about cricket with his lawyer.

The 30-year-old former kangaroo hunter was discussing the recent Ashes series between Australia and England at the time.

This has allowed Mr Hicks to apply for a UK passport, which could represent his best chance of avoiding a trial before a military tribunal.

David Hicks poses with bazooka in Kosovo (archive)
David Hicks spent time in Kosovo, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Earlier this year nine British detainees were sent home from Guantanamo Bay.

This was after the UK government complained that the system there failed to uphold basic standards of international justice.

The Australian authorities, however, have consistently supported the process and have not lobbied Washington for David Hicks' release.

He has been in custody for almost four years since being captured in Afghanistan during the US-led invasion.

He has denied charges of conspiracy to commit war crimes, attempted murder and aiding the enemy.



SEE ALSO:
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


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