Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Legal disintegration in Australia and USA

The case against Mohamed Hanif has fallen apart in a big way. Now that any "evidence" that he assisted the UK would-be terrorists is drying up, nobody really wants to know about him.

Least of all the Australian government, whose ministers have fallen over each other to contradict themselves on the reasons for detaining him.

Now the Australian Law Council has written a scathing report on the Australian and US Governments' treatment of David Hicks. They called the US military commission process that convicted him a "charade that only served to corrode the rule of law".

The Law Council president, Tim Bugg, said: "Clearly Dr Haneef is going to be subjected to a far better process because he's in the Australian justice system. But nonetheless the Hicks case highlighted that a citizen's rights were simply jettisoned because of political considerations, rather than considerations of principle."

Of course, the difference between Haneef's and Hicks' cases is that Hicks pleaded guilty. But after five years in Guantanemo Bay, Hicks came out and said he was ready to plead anything to get out. That was before the plea bargain, which constituted the only admission or conviction of guilt.

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