Wednesday, February 07, 2007

US to be given further ‘ultimatums’

As the David Hicks case drags on, Australian Prime Minister John Howard apparently had a tense interlude in his party room yesterday, with several backbenchers expressing concern at the lack of due process, and “ridiculous” lengthiness of the “process”.

“What do you expect us to do?” Mr Howard was quoted as saying.

Mr Entsch responded “bring him home like the Brits did”, a reference to the British Government repatriating its Guantanamo Bay inmates because of concerns about the military commissions.

Mr Howard said that meant Mr Hicks would go free because he could not be charged under Australian law.

But he also indicated yesterday he would not let him languish indefinitely, saying he would set the US further timelines for the case to be dealt with.

He earlier gave the US until the middle of this month for Mr Hicks to be charged. At the weekend, two new charges were sworn against Mr Hicks but have not yet been approved or laid.

The folks at the White House must now be quaking in their boots every time the phone rings.


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