Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews, who cancelled the work visa of Mohammed Haneef, said on Sunday that he had no regrets about the way he handled the case and insisted that the Indian doctor's behaviour throughout his nearly four-week detention over the failed UK terror plot had been "suspicious." Andrews' decision to cancel the visa of Haneef, who returned home a week ago after terror charges against him were dropped, on character grounds subsequently came under fire.
The Minister said he had had a lot of tough times in his years in politics and the Haneef case was no different. "I don't have any personal regrets," he told a local TV network.
Andrews said the hardest thing was being privy to information which he felt justified his decision - information which could not be publicly released because it was part of an ongoing police investigation.
He said he felt he made the right decision under immigration legislation, adding that he still felt Haneef's behaviour throughout the ordeal "has been suspicious." An appeal against the Immigration Minister's decision to revoke Haneef's visa is scheduled to be heard in a few days.
Andrews said that nothing has changed his assessment that Haneef's visa should be withdrawn on character grounds. "Haneef has been protesting his innocence, there's an appeal on foot, normally people stay around to see the outcome of their appeal," he told ABC TV.
"Secondly with the whole of the Australian media interested in this, you'd think he would have at least stood around here and said, 'Well I'll open myself up to questions about this if I'm innocent'. I think his behaviour all throughout this has been suspicious," he said.