THE fact no charges had been laid against Australian terrorist suspect David Hicks left hope he may be sent home, his US-appointed defence lawyer said today.
US Marine lawyer Michael Mori was speaking after a US official who interrogated Hicks told America's 60 Minutes II program the 28-year-old detained at Guantanamo Bay had not been involved in combat against the US.
Identified only as Tom, the official said Hicks readily cooperated during questioning, revealing details of several of al-Qaeda's training camps for mountain warfare, snipers and bomb- making.
He said Hicks, from Adelaide, had told him he progressed through the camps but he baulked from going further when he was asked to become a suicide bomber.
Major Mori said today he had not had the opportunity to interview the unidentified official, but he said he was interested to hear comments matching his own.
"Here's another person echoing exactly what I've been saying all along - that David Hicks hasn't injured any US service member or citizen and he wasn't participating in any terrorist activity," he told Sydney radio 2UE.
"Now it's gone on two years and four months - that's a long time for not hurting anyone."
Although he was unable to confirm the facts surrounding his client's case, Major Mori said questions remained over what Hicks had done to violate international law and on what grounds he was being held.
He said the fact charges against Hicks had not yet been laid - although making it difficult to prepare a defence - left hope his client would not be charged and would return to Australia.
"I think it also leaves hope that maybe David Hicks won't be charged and will be finally returned to his country," he said.
He said any charges "could come in two days or two months".