21 Dec 2008

Control order lifted on ex-Guantanamo inmate

9:44 pm on 21 December 2008

An Australian former inmate at the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay had his first full day of freedom on Sunday after stringent restrictions on his actions were lifted.

David Hicks, spent more than five years at Guantanamo without trial before admitting to supporting Al-Qaeda, in return for being allowed to serve his sentence in Australia.

Since completing his nine-month prison term a year ago, the Australian authorities had compelled Mr Hicks to observe a curfew and report to police regularly.

That order expired at midnight on Saturday.

His lawyer David McLeod says it's a relief and Hicks can now get on with his life.

His father Terry Hicks, who was the leading campaigner for his release during his five years at Guantanamo Bay, said his son's first priority would be his "mental and physical well-being".

"It gives him full freedom to get as much rehabilitation as he can," said Mr Hicks, saying his son still had back and other health problems as a result of his time in Guantanamo Bay.