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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Guantanamo royalties frozen

Detainee's memoir will not reap a fortune

David Hicks (pictured), a one-time kangaroo-skinner (whatever that is) and Outback cowboy, spent over 5 years imprisoned at the US prison camp in Cuba, not to be released until 2007, when his home govt. made a deal that allowed him to return to his home country, Australia, involving a 9-month prison sentence after he got back downunder.

Released into the ordinary world, he began the ordinary process of writing and publishing a book about his experiences.  Now, NSW Supreme court Justic Peter Garling has frozen a trust fund that would have allowed him to profit from the proceeds of the book.

Under Aussie rules, criminals can be sued for proceeds from their crimes.  Does this law apply to Hicks?  That is still to be determined.  Meantime, the money is out of his reach.

Hicks was captured in Afghanistan in 2001.  According to his arraignment, he had trained at an al Qaeda camp.  However, he denied that it was nothing more than an interesting experience, saying it was nothing to do with training to be a terrorist.  Let it be noted, though, that he pleaded guilty.

The book, according to media estimates, has sold about 30,000 copies.

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