Hicks may return next week

May 8, 2007

Confessed terrorism supporter David Hicks could return to Australia in a week, with his Adelaide-based lawyer soon to visit the Guantanamo Bay detainee.

Lawyer David McLeod today refused to say when he would leave for Cuba but said he would meet Hicks next week to discuss his transfer and remain with him during the transfer.

Secrecy surrounds the details of Hicks' return to Australia with the federal government refusing to reveal how the 31-year-old Muslim convert will be returned to Adelaide to serve the remainder of his nine-month jail sentence.

Hicks was sentenced to a total of seven years jail with all but nine months suspended after pleading guilty before a US military commission in March to a charge of providing material support for terrorism after spending more than five years in the US military prison.

He was captured among Taliban forces in Afghanistan in December 2001.

Mr McLeod said he would explain to Hicks the legal documents that finalised the charge, his plea bargain and transfer to Australia.

He said Hicks' US military lawyer Major Michael Mori was also expected to attend the meeting.

Former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mamdouh Habib arrived back in Australia on board a government-chartered aircraft in January 2005 after spending two years in detention.