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Restrictions to end for ex-Guantanamo inmate

November 20, 2008|Associated Press

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australian Federal Police said today that they would stop next month restricting the movements and communications of David Hicks, a former inmate of the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The restrictions are due to expire Dec. 21, at which point Hicks will be completely free for the first time since he was captured with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan almost seven years ago.

The Muslim convert spent 5 1/2 years at Guantanamo before reaching a plea deal under which he admitted providing material support to Al Qaeda in exchange for serving a nine-month sentence in Australia.

Hicks, a 33-year-old former cowboy and kangaroo skinner, has been subject to a control order since his release from prison last December.

Under the order, Hicks must report to police three days a week, observe a curfew and is banned from using any telephone or Internet account not approved by police.

Hicks released a 54-second video message to the public today through a political lobby opposed to Australia's toughened anti-terrorism laws.

In it, he says that "until the control order is lifted, I will not be able to get on with my life."

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