Mar 30 2007

Military Commission Accepts Guilty Plea from Australian David Hicks

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on the Guantanamo Bay military commission which accepted a guilty plea from Australian David Hicks. Hicks is to be sentenced to seven years in prison for providing material support to Al Qaeda. Under the plea agreement Mr. Hicks will serve his sentence in Australia. Last year, Graham played a leading role in the drafting and eventual passage into law of the Military Commissions Act (MCA), which establishes the rules and procedures to try enemy combatant terror suspects before military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said: "I'm extremely pleased the military commission process is up and working. I believe the sentence handed down by the military judge was appropriate. "I'm grateful to our Australian allies who showed tremendous patience in ensuring Mr. Hicks would be held accountable for his crimes. The Australian government should be congratulated for allowing the process to move forward and justice to be rendered. "I hope today's proceedings will be a deterrent to any person intrigued by the idea of associating with Al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations in any shape, form, or fashion." #####