Oz drops court battle against ex-Gitmo prisoner

Oz as dropped court battle to seize profits from a book written by an ex-Gitmo prisoner branded the "Aussie-taliban" of his training with al Qaeda.

Updated: Jul 24, 2012, 13:37 PM IST

Melbourne: The Australian government has dropped its battle in court to seize profits from a book written by an ex-Gitmo prisoner branded the "Aussie-taliban" of his training with al Qaeda.

David Hicks (37), a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was captured in Afghanistan in 2001 by forces of the Northern Alliance spent more than five years in US prison camp in Cuba before being handed back to Australia.

The Australian government had sought to seize the profits from his book `Guantanamo: My Journey` declaring that these were "proceeds of crime" in the New South Wales Supreme Court.

But in a sudden move on Tuesday, the Commonwealth Director of Public prosecution Lionel Robberds said the authorities had decided not to continue with the case as it considered Hicks` admissions of terrorist activity before a US Military commission could not be relied upon.

Hicks told reporters outside the court room that he felt vindicated and that now the authorities would acknowledge that Guantanamo Bay and everything connected with it was illegal.

In the book Hicks wrote that he had undergone military training in Afghanistan at a camp that al Qaeda`s slain leader Osama Bin Laden had visited, but denied it was terrorist training.

Hicks`s book has seen a modest success in Australia selling 30,000 copies and bringing in around 10,000 Australian dollars from the proceeds.

PTI