page two today's Telegraph
Dad finally sees Hicks
March 26, 2007 12:00
DAVID Hicks will be allowed to shake his father Terry's hand and hug him when they are reunited for the first time in three years at Guantanamo Bay tomorrow.An arraignment hearing for the accused terrorist will begin at 3am AEST tomorrow and Terry Hicks has flown to Cuba to support his son.
Mr Hicks, from Adelaide, will meet his father before the hearing and again afterward to say goodbye, along with his half-sister Stephanie.
The emotional reunion is the first time Mr Hicks will have seen his son since a 30-minute visit in 2004.
"I think they will have an opportunity in a private, secure space to meet with one another, meet with the family," Guantanamo Bay public affairs director Commander Robert Durand said yesterday.
Cdr Durand said Hicks would be expected to appear before the tribunal neat and well groomed, but it was up to his legal team to ensure he came dressed in a suit.
"Within the camp we offer people to have the opportunity to have their hair cut and they can accept or decline," Cdr Durand said.
"I don't know what kind of condition he will be in as far as having a fresh haircut and a shave. He will certainly be provided that opportunity."
He said Hicks could be thrown out of court if he appeared dishevelled before the chief judge for military commissions, Colonel Ralph Kohlmann.
However, Hicks' US military lawyer, Major Michael Mori, said his hair was long and unkempt because he had been refused access to a comb for months.
As Hicks prepares to argue his case, the Uniting Church yesterday led calls to bring him back to Australia.
A prayer gathering at the Uniting Church in Pitt St took up a collection to go towards Hicks' legal team and family.
"Many of us – in the churches and the community – feel not simply angry, but deeply hurt," said Reverend Andrew Collis from South Sydney Uniting Church.
Hicks, 31, faces a maximum sentence of life in a US military prison if found guilty of providing material support for terrorism.
He is accused of training with al-Qaeda and fighting alongside Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
Hicks' legal team flew to Guantanamo Bay from the US yesterday.
They were joined on a military transport plane by a 30-strong throng of media from the US and Australia to cover Hicks' court appearance.
A ban on film and photographs means an artist's sketch impressions will be the only image of Hicks shown to the outside world.
People from the Uniting Church protest in support of David Hicks. / The Daily Telegraph