The Department of Defense announced today the transfer of David Matthew Hicks from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Australia.
On March 30, Hicks pled guilty and was convicted of material support to terrorism in the first trial under the Military Commissions Act of 2006. The military commissions Act established procedures that fully comply with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.
Military Commissions have historically been used to prosecute enemy combatants who violate the laws of war. The last time the United States used military commissions was during World War II. Military commissions provide a full and fair trial, while protecting classified and sensitive information and all personnel participating in the process, including the accused.
The law of war provides the legal framework to hold enemy combatants for the duration of hostilities. Trials by military commission demonstrate that the United States is committed to holding dangerous terror suspects accountable for their actions.
As part of a pretrial agreement, Hicks’s sentence has been limited to not more than nine months confinement. The remainder of his sentence will be served in Australia as part of a transfer agreement with the United States.
Since 2002, approximately 395 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Yemen.
Approximately 380 detainees remain at Guantanamo.