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Australian detainee to stand trial for terrorism offenses

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  • Australian detainee to stand trial for terrorism offenses

    Australian detainee to stand trial for terrorism offenses

    By Deborah Funk
    Times staff writer

    An Australian citizen is the third person held by the U.S. military to be charged with terrorism-related offenses and approved for trial by a military commission.
    David Matthew Hicks was charged June 10 with conspiracy, allegedly for conspiring to commit war crimes; attempted murder by an “unprivileged belligerent,” and aiding the enemy for his alleged involvement with the al-Qaida terrorist organization.

    If he is convicted, the U.S. government will not seek the death penalty, defense officials said.

    Marine Corps Maj. Michael Mori, Hicks’ military defense counsel, said his client hasn’t broken any laws, and that Australian officials have said he didn’t violate any of their laws.

    “He hasn’t committed any crime,” Mori said.

    Hicks, 28, is held at the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He is alleged to have traveled to Afghanistan in January 2001 to attend al-Qaida terrorist training camps and alleged to have participated in four different training exercises.

    Training included landmines, basic explosives, marksmanship, techniques for ambushing, kidnapping and passing intelligence, assassination methods and information collection and surveillance. Part of one of the courses included conducting surveillance on U.S. and British embassies and other targets, and reporting on it, according to charging documents.

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    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."