Article from SMH Amnesty attacks Hicks trial as sham justice By Cynthia Banham, Defence Reporter February 15, 2005 Page Tools Email to a friend Printer format Jumana Musa, Amnesty International's legal observer at the Guantanamo Bay military commissions, says the US trial that will hear the case of David Hicks is like an operation where the surgeons have had no training in basic human anatomy. Ms Musa is visiting Australia to talk to the federal Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, about the commissions. She will tell him today that the commissions - set up by the US outside the confines of either its domestic legal system or the Geneva conventions - is "a broken process ... [it] isn't working, and hasn't been working". "The most important thing people need to understand is there is no amount of good lawyering that can fix this process," she said. Her visit coincides with the Federal Government coming under increasing pressure over claims by Mamdouh Habib, the Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee who has now been released, that he was tortured while in US custody. Why did Ms Musa bother coming this far? Because Australia, she says, is "the only country that seems to have come out and said that the idea of trying somebody, their own citizen, before this process might be OK, and I think that should be a concern to anybody". Advertisement AdvertisementShe says the British Government refused to let its citizens be subjected to the military commissions unless they met "some kind of basic fair trial standard". "The fact that all the British detainees have now gone home without being charged, without being brought before these commissions, makes it clear that the commissions were never brought in line with any type of fair trial standards that would satisfy the British," she said. "If that's the case, they shouldn't satisfy anybody." Another reason for Ms Musa's visit is to educate. She says even the military escorts she has had to take with her while at Guantanamo Bay have said, "Really? I didn't realise it was like that", once she has explained to them how the process had been set up. The Prime Minister, John Howard, has stood by his statements of last year that no Australians witnessed or were involved in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners, despite revelations by a former defence intelligence officer, Rod Barton, to the contrary. Mr Barton, a former officer with Australia's Defence Intelligence Organisation who was seconded to work with the Iraq Survey Group searching for weapons of mass destruction, told the ABC's Four Corners last night that he was involved in interrogating prisoners at Camp Cropper, near Baghdad airport. "I have absolutely no reason to doubt the basis on which I made that statement," Mr Howard said.