Proponents of the new system say they expect the federal courts to rule in favor of the military commissions. Meanwhile, Australia, a steadfast U.S. ally in the War on Terror, has been pressuring the Bush administration to send Hicks back to his native country. Last month, Sandra Hodgkinson, the State Department’s deputy director for war crimes issues, told reporters that “it’s certainly believed that Mr. Hicks may be able to carry out his incarceration, after the appeals process is complete, in Australia.” President George W. Bush and Congress established the new legal system last fall. Lawmakers set up the tribunals after the Supreme Court ruled an older version established by Bush was unconstitutional because it lacked Congress’ blessing and violated international agreements. WASHINGTON – The Bush administration filed charges Thursday against an Australian captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and held ever since without trial, the first terror-war suspect to face prosecution under a new system of military tribunals. David Hicks, a 31-year-old former kangaroo skinner now held at the Guantanamo Bay military prison, was charged with providing material support for terrorism and could face life imprisonment if convicted. Court challenges are certain before any trial. Hicks’ case, which has attracted broad attention in the U.S. and overseas, could well become the one that opponents of the new military tribunal system use to challenge the system at the Supreme Court. Opponents of the military commissions say they are illegal because they do not afford many legal rights guaranteed under the Constitution. “It all seems to be an intermingling of politics and pressure,” said Jumana Musa, advocacy director for Amnesty International. “But none of it screams to me to be in the interest of justice.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!