In yet another legal victory for Mohd Haneef, the Federal Court of Australia on Friday upheld a decision to reinstate the work visa of the Indian doctor, who was exonerated on terror charges in connection with the failed UK-terror plot.
The government had challenged a decision by a Brisbane court to reinstate the work visa of the 27-year-old medico that was cancelled by the then Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews' on character grounds because of Haneef's association with UK terror suspects Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed.
However, full bench of the Federal Court in Melbourne upheld Justice Jeffery Spender decision in favour of the Bangalore doctor, dismissing Andrews' appeal.
The decision was handed down in Melbourne while Haneef's legal team watched via video link in Brisbane.
Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo says his client is currently on a pilgrimage to Mecca and will speak to him some time later on Friday.
"It's welcomed and I know my client will be pleased to hear that we're one step closer having his visa returned," he said.
Haneef was detained by Australian Federal Police for 12 days in July before being charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation. He spent two more weeks in detention as Andrews cancelled his work visa following a Brisbane magistrate's decision to free him on bail.
The charges were dropped later as Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions announced there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction and Haneef returned to Bangalore.
A series of leaks and accusations of a bungled probe caused a major embarrassment to the previous John Howard government.