Convicted al-Qaida supporter David Hicks landed in his hometown in a private jet Sunday after more than five years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Hicks — the first terrorist suspect convicted by a U.S. military commission in Cuba — was transferred to a South Australia state prison to serve the final seven months of his sentence for aiding al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
“Mr. Hicks is now in the custody of the South Australian correctional services,” Attorney General Philip Ruddock said in a brief statement confirming Hicks’ return to Australia.
Hicks, 31, a one-time cowboy and kangaroo skinner, made the flight from Guantanamo Bay in a government-chartered Gulfstream G550 jet with an entourage of Australian police, prison officers and his Australian lawyer.
His flight was diverted through Mexico because the United States had refused Hicks entry to American airspace, local media reported.