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'Haneef could go free due to mistakes'

world Updated: Jul 21, 2007 13:51 IST

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Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef, charged in connection with the failed UK terror plot, could win his freedom in court because of apparent mistakes in a departmental briefing that led Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to order his detention.

"Even one error of fact could be enough to undermine the Government's case," constitutional lawyer George Williams was quoted as saying by 'The Australian' on Saturday.

Those mistakes are expected to be raised in the Federal Court by Haneef's lawyers on August 8 when they challenge the Government's decision on Monday to revoke his visa.

They are the same apparent mistakes that appear in an affidavit that was used in the Brisbane Magistrates Court against Haneef by the Australian Federal Police when he was granted bail.

While AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty on Friday called on lawyers to stop commenting on the case, Queensland Council of Civil Liberties president Michael Cope said the Federal Court proceedings next month would be crucial.

"If the minister has, for whatever reason, acted on incorrect information, the decision will be overturned," Cope said.

Andrews has refused to review his decision to cancel Haneef's visa, saying his decision was based on information not seen by Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne, who granted the terror suspect bail.

The apparent errors in the information considered by Andrews are contained in a minute on Haneef that was prepared by senior public servant Peter White on Monday.