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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Australian Detainee Returned

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Australian David Hicks, the first Guantanamo Bay inmate to face a U.S. military tribunal, was flown back to his hometown of Adelaide on Sunday to serve out the remainder of his sentence in a maximum-security prison.

The former cowboy and kangaroo skinner pleaded guilty in March to providing material support to al-Qaida, including attending terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

Under a plea deal, he was sentenced to nine months in prison -- a fraction of the life term he faced for his crime -- and allowed to return to Australia to serve out his term.

Accompanied by police and prison officials, Hicks was flown from Cuba and the plane carrying him landed early Sunday at the heavily fortified Edinburgh air force base on the outskirts of Adelaide.

Hicks, shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit, was then taken to the Yatala Labor Prison, where he will serve the final seven months of his sentence in the high security division alongside the prison's most dangerous criminals.

Nevertheless, lawyer David McLeod said Hicks was thrilled to be home after more than five years at the U.S. military camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A high school dropout and Muslim convert, Hicks, 31, was captured in December 2001 in Afghanistan by the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance, and became one of the first terrorist suspects to be transferred to the U.S. naval base in Cuba.