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Court to decide on Haneef's appeal

world Updated: Aug 21, 2007 03:51 IST

PTI
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An Australian court will on Tuesday decide on Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef's appeal to have his work visa reinstated after terror charges against him over the foiled terror plot in the UK were dropped.

Judge Jeffery Spender of the Federal Court in Brisbane had on August nine reserved his judgement on Haneef's appeal against Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews' controversial decision to revoke his work visa on character grounds.

In cancelling the visa, Andrews said he had a reasonable suspicion that Haneef had "associated" with terrorists, specifically his second cousins Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed, both allegedly involved in failed bomb plots in the UK in June.

However, Haneef's lawyers disputed the minister's use of the word "association" and questioned whether any relationship with an alleged criminal, even an innocent one, would be enough to justify a visa cancellation.

Haneef, who worked as a junior doctor at the Gold Coast Hospital, was charged with "recklessly" providing support to a terrorist organisation on July 14, following 12 days of detention under anti-terror laws. A Brisbane magistrate granted him bail on July 16, before Andrews intervened.

However, the charge against him was dropped within a fortnight after Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg found there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction against the Indian doctor.

Haneef returned to India a day later, having spent 25 days in detention, but has stated he wants to return to Australia to continue his physician training.