The last sentence is particularly galling:
“Justice Garling ordered that the Commonwealth pay Mr Hicks’ costs”. (That’s you and me, the taxpayer.)
Here’s a guy who committed high treason by joining the soldiers of allah. Â Thanks to a bunch of complicit shysters in the judiciary he is being rewarded for participating in Islamic terrorism. Hicks is now free to enjoy his celebrity status:
FORMER Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks says his name has finally been cleared after the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped its case to stop him making money from his book.
Profits from Mr Hicks’s controversial autobiography, Guantanamo: My Journey, about his six years in the US detention centre, had been frozen under proceeds of crime laws.
Lawyers for the DPP told the NSW Supreme Court in Sydney today that the case had been dropped, ending what is likely to be the final legal challenge faced by the former detainee.
“Today has shown that the DPP have no evidence that I’ve committed any crime,” Mr Hicks told reporters outside the court.
Mr Hicks’s book is believed to have sold about 30,000 copies and generated about $10,000.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Garling had previously issued a restraining order relating to Lakeside Pty Ltd and Misha Family Trust, after the DPP made an application under the federal proceeds of crime act, which aims to prevent criminals profiting from their crimes.
Lionel Robberds QC today told Justice Garling the DPP would not be pursing the matter.
“Something that I’ve said all along … I feel that this has cleared my name,” Mr Hicks told reporters.
“I feel like this acknowledges Guantanamo Bay and everything is illegal.”
Mr Hicks’ solicitor, Steven Glass, said the DPP’s case relied on a plea agreement signed by Mr Hicks in 2007, after he had spent five years in Guantanamo Bay.
This admission that he had provided “material support for terrorism” was obtained under duress, Mr Glass said.
The DPP said it decided to drop the case against Mr Hicks because some of the evidence it was relying on may not have been admissible in court.
In a statement, the DPP said the proceedings were launched last July on the basis of evidence that Mr Hicks could benefit financially from his crime.
This evidence included Mr Hicks’ guilty plea and other admissions made to the US Military Commission, which were recorded in a number of documents.
However, Mr Hicks’ lawyers argued the admissions shouldn’t be used because of the circumstances in which they were made.
“After careful consideration of all matters … I reached the view that this office was not in a position to discharge the onus placed upon it to satisfy the court that the admissions should be relied upon and decided that these proceedings should not continue,” the DPP said.
Mr Hicks said the case against him had always been politically motivated.
“Now I’ve been out for four years we’re still going (but) there’s been some closure today.”
Mr Hicks spent more than five years in the US prison camp at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba after being captured in Afghanistan in 2001.
After a plea deal in which he admitted to providing material support for terrorism he was sent to Adelaide’s Yatala Prison in April 2007.
Mr Hicks was sentenced to seven years in prison after his guilty plea, all but nine months of which was suspended.
He was released in December 2007.
In a separate statement this morning, Mr Hicks said: “The only reason I pleaded guilty was because it was my only hope of release from that hell-hole. Anyone in my situation would have done the same.
“I can’t believe that the government has taken so long to acknowledge this. The British government brought their citizens home, but the Australian government just left me to fend for myself.”
Justice Garling ordered that the Commonwealth pay Mr Hicks’ costs.