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Anger of Guantanamo detainee's dad

Terry Hicks makes his point in his Adelaide hometown earlier this year.
Terry Hicks makes his point in his Adelaide hometown earlier this year.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The father of an Australian man held at a U.S. detention facility in Cuba for 19 months complained on Monday that his son still has had no charges filed against him, has not had access to an attorney and has never been allowed to talk with his father.

Terry Hicks, father of David Hicks, was joined at a news conference by Michael Ratner, an attorney for the Center of Constitutional Rights, and Stephen Kenny, the Australian attorney for Hicks.

They demanded that the father and son be allowed to talk, and that the younger Hicks be given access to an attorney.

They also said they do not believe David Hicks will receive a fair trial from a military tribunal.

"It is an outrage that the U.S. government put him before a tribunal that is essentially a court of conviction not of justice," Ratner said.

Thursday, after several days of talks between U.S. and Australian officials in Washington, the United States gave the Australian government assurance it would not seek the death penalty for Hicks. The U.S. government has also agreed not to monitor conversations between Hicks and a defense counsel, saying that the circumstances of his case do not warrant such a move.

The Bush administration has given similar assurances to Britain regarding two British nationals being detained in Guantanamo. They, like Hicks, are reported to be among a group of six detainees whose names the White House had forwarded to the Pentagon as eligible for military tribunals.

The United States said last week no such proceedings will begin against any Australian or British nationals until further discussions with those governments are held.


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