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Hicks granted end to restrictions

David Hicks in an undated family photo
David Hicks was captured in 2001 and spent five years in Guantanamo Bay

Australian police have said they will not seek to extend an order limiting the movements of former Guantanamo Bay inmate and terror convict David Hicks.

The move came just hours after Hicks spoke publicly for the first time to make a video appeal to be allowed to "get on with my life".

Hicks left prison last December after pleading guilty to terrorism charges before a US military tribunal.

But since then his communications and movements have been tightly restricted.

Under the so-called "control order", Hicks is subject to a midnight-to-dawn curfew, has restrictions placed on his travel and has to report to the police twice a week.

He cannot use any telephone or internet account not approved by police, and faces jail if he flouts those restrictions.

'Want to rebuild'

This was the first time that Hicks had broken a self-imposed public silence.

Hicks makes his appeal before the restrictions were lifted

In a video message organised by the Australian rights group GetUp, the former kangaroo skinner said he had been "living under restrictions that control my life".

He said: "I thought that I'd be able to start getting on with rebuilding my life after my control order expires this December, but I'm concerned that the AFP [Australian Federal Police] will recommend the attorney general imposes a new control order.

"I do not know what the future holds. But what I do know is that until the control order is lifted, I will not be able to get on with my life. That is why I'm asking for your help once again."

Within hours, the BBC's Nick Bryant reports, the AFP granted his wish.

"Following extensive consultation with a number of agencies, the AFP has decided it will not be seeking a further control order in respect of Mr Hicks," said the AFP in a statement.

The 33-year-old will now become a completely free man for the first time since he was captured in Afghanistan seven years ago, our correspondent says.

Hicks was captured in 2001 in Afghanistan, and spent five years in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

He was returned to Australia as part of an agreement in which he admitted supporting terrorism, but Australia's top legal body criticised the deal as a "charade".

He said he is recovering still from his ordeal at Guantanamo Bay and is not ready yet to tell his story.

But he has said he will do so.

Before the US military tribunal, Hicks admitted to training with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, where he was captured in 2001, and meeting its leader, Osama Bin Laden.



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