As Mamdouh Habib returns from Guantanamo Bay, released without charge after three years, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock is suggesting that the government may seek to stop him selling his story, using legislation that prevents people gaining income from the proceeds of crime.
Contrary to some other commentators, I hope Habib sells his story and that the government makes good on its threat of legal action. I’d be very interested to see what information the government has on this man, whom they have effectively labelled a terrorist, and left to rot, first in Egyptian torture chambers and then in Guantanamo Bay. If they can show, even on the balance of probabilities, that Habib is a terrorist, then he shouldn’t get any money from media organisations, though he should still be free to tell his side of the story without payment.
And now that the issue has been raised, the heat is on the government. If they don’t act, it can reasonably be inferred that it’s because they couldn’t win, and given his statements on this and previous occasions, Ruddock should resign.
fn1. Fat chance, I know. But the presence of Ruddock and others like him is the main reason I’ll never be reconciled to this government, no matter how lame the opposition.