Sunday, May 20, 2007

Just when you thought you heard it all...

CONVICTED terrorist David Hicks winged it home in style yesterday – then thanked taxpayers for picking up the $500,000 bill for his luxury jet. Even joked about it. Watched a movie. (The Departed) Wants to get on with his life and his taxpayer funded education.

Great. Just rub our noses in it while you're at it...

The confessed terrorist supporter touched down at Adelaide's Edinburgh RAAF base at 9.47am after spending 5½ years in a US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. While his lawyer gushed over the elation Hicks felt to be back on Australian soil, debate quickly turned to the plush mode of transport chosen for him by the Federal Government. The $25 million Gulfstream G550 – with leather seats, inflight entertainment and twin Rolls-Royce engines – is more suited to movie stars and executives than convicted criminals.

The same jet, chartered from Sydney-based firm Adagold Aviation, has been used to ferry tennis ace Lleyton Hewitt – like Hicks, an Adelaide native – to tournaments around the world. Hicks' lawyer David McLeod said his client thoroughly enjoyed the trip, watching a movie, sampling the menu and chatting to Australian Federal Police and South Australian Correctional Services officers assigned to him. "David is well, and he enjoyed the trip," Mr McLeod said. "He was very glad just to be back on Australian soil, he was visibly overjoyed when we touched down.

"He is very grateful to the Australian taxpayer for bringing him home."Mr McLeod said his client – convicted of training alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda – joked on the flight that he was the only prisoner to "get a world trip between stretches".

Read it all at the linky.