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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 02:38 GMT
Australian Guantanamo man freed
David Hicks leaves prison in Adelaide, 29 December 2007
Hicks (green shirt) was freed early on Saturday
An Australian convicted by the United States of supporting terrorism has been freed from a prison in Adelaide.

David Hicks, 32, was captured with Taleban forces in Afghanistan in 2001, and spent five years at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

In March he became the first person to be convicted at a US war crimes trial since the end of the World War II.

Under a plea deal, he was jailed for seven years, with all but nine months suspended, and returned to Australia.

Hicks was released from the maximum security prison at Yatala in Adelaide.

A federal magistrate has ruled that he remains a security risk - Hicks must report to police three times a week and keep a midnight-to-dawn curfew.

Terry Hicks, 29 December 2007
David's done five-and-a-half years pretty tough
Terry Hicks
Father

He will not be allowed to leave Australia, and he cannot give interviews until March.

Hicks made no comment as he left the prison, leaving his lawyer David McLeod to read a statement on his behalf.

"I had hoped to be able to speak to the media but I am just not strong enough at the moment, it's as simple as that," the statement said.

Through his lawyer, Hicks thanked the Australian public for "getting me home".

"I will not forget, or let you down."

He also said: "I am looking forward to spending some quiet time with my wonderful Dad, my family and friends."

His father, Terry Hicks, told the press outside the prison nothing had been proven against his son, and that David did not believe he needed to apologise.

"David's done five-and-a-half years pretty tough, David has done time for whatever," he said.

"It's time for him to settle down."

Hicks, a convert to Islam who later renounced the faith, admitted training with al-Qaeda and meeting its leader Osama bin Laden, whom he described as "lovely", according to police evidence presented in court.



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David Hicks leaves prison in Adelaide



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