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The Proceeds of Crime Act

Paul Bibby reports for the Sydney Morning Herald:

The NSW* Supreme Court has frozen assets relating to the sale of a revealing book by former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks as Commonwealth prosecutors attempt to seize all proceeds from the sale of the book.

The Commonwealth claims that money from the sale of Mr Hicks's book, Guantanamo, My Journey, which is about his six-year ordeal in the notorious prison, are the proceeds of crime.

About 30,000 copies of the book, published by Random House, have been sold since it went on sale last year.

In response to an application from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Justice Peter Garling issued a restraining order in relation to two assets connected to the sale of the book - a trust fund called the Misha Family Trust and a company called Lakeside Pty Ltd.

Under section 20 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, a restraining order can be imposed if "there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has committed an indictable offence ... and that the person has derived literary proceeds in relation to the offence".

* New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia.

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