Media bidding war starts for Guantanamo ex-detainee

Source:Reuters.com Author:Michael Perry Date:03/25/14 Click:

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian David Hicks, the only Guantanamo Bay detainee convicted of terrorism charges, is at the centre of a worldwide media bidding war for his story, with a possible price tag of A$1 million (US$892,000), local media said.

Hicks, 32, has had 30 offers from television and publishing firms in Australia, the United States and Italy, his lawyer told The Australian newspaper.

Media analysts say Hicks' story could fetch A$1 million, the newspaper said on Friday, but Australian laws preventing people profiting from their crimes may deny Hicks any money.

Hicks' father, Terry, told The Australian that most of the money paid for his son's story would be donated to charity, but that he should keep some to compensate for his six years in prison.

Hicks is currently prevented from talking to the media until a U.S.-gag order expires on March 26.

Hicks, who is now free and living in his hometown of Adelaide, was released from an Australian prison in December after spending over six years behind bars, the majority in solitary confinement in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

He was captured in Afghanistan in late 2001 and spent over five years in Guantanamo before becoming the first person to be sentenced under the alternate war crimes tribunals created by President George W. Bush's administration to try non-American captives.

The former kangaroo skinner admitted training with al Qaeda and meeting its leader Osama bin Laden, whom he described as "lovely," according to police evidence given to the court.

(Reporting by Michael Perry; Editing by David Fox)

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