MELISSA BLOCK, host:
Today at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a military judge and lawyers met to work out the specifics of the fate of David Hicks. He's the Australian citizen who pleaded guilty to providing material support for terrorism last night. The meeting today was part of the process to determine a sentence for the 31-year-old Hicks, and to decide where that time maybe served out.
NPR's Jackie Northam reports from Guantanamo Bay.
JACKIE NORTHAM: The daylong meeting here at the Guantanamo Military Base is similar to plea-bargaining in the civilian legal world. The prosecution, defense and judge are dissecting the two counts within the overall charge against David Hicks to come up with the best deal for both sides. Hicks has pleaded guilty to one count of intentionally providing support to a terror organization. He pleaded not guilty to the charge that he helped prepare or carry out an act of terrorism.
Hicks' decision to plead guilty to the overall charge came as a surprise to his father, Terry Hicks. In an interview with ABC Australia, the senior Hicks said he supported his son's decision.
Mr. TERRY HICKS (Father of David Hicks): As far as I'm concerned, this was a way out for David, regardless whether he's guilty or innocent. We'll never ever know now.
NORTHAM: Terry Hicks says he's satisfied that his son has opted for the lesser charge, although it can still mean a long prison sentence. That's likely to be served back home in Australia. His sentence will be determined by military officers sitting on a tribunal panel or jury. Those officers have begun to arrive at Guantanamo, and their decision could come as early as this weekend.
Jackie Northam, NPR News, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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