Lawyers Say Guantanamo Trial a 'Charade'

The first military trial of a terror suspect at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba was a "charade" played out for the public and media to protect U.S. government interests, Australia's leading lawyers' association said Tuesday.

The Law Council of Australia released the scathing report in the case of former kangaroo skinner David Hicks, 31, who is serving a prison sentence in his hometown of Adelaide after pleading guilty at the U.S. naval base on Cuba in March to providing material support to the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Hicks, who was captured by the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in Afghanistan in December 2001, will be released from prison in December under the plea deal after spending more than five years at Guantanamo Bay.

The council sent leading barrister Lex Lasry to Cuba as an independent observer of the court proceedings, and he found that the trial "was a charade" that was "designed to lay a veneer of due process over a political and pragmatic bargain," according to his report.

Details here from the AP via the San Francisco Chronicle.