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'Haneef's visa cancellation spoiled it for police'

Ex-immigration minister Kevin Andrews did not notify Aus police and other senior officials before revoking the Indian doctor's visa, a move which spoiled the investigations.

world Updated: Apr 28, 2008 08:52 IST

Former immigration minister Kevin Andrews did not notify Australian police and other senior officials before revoking Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef's visa, a move which "spoiled" the investigations.

Andrews' decision to revoke Haneef's visa caught the police and senior immigration officials completely by surprise, a media report said quoting a source, who had worked with the Howard government.

The report said the decision by him and his staff to deport Haneef complicated the joint probe by the Australian Federal Police and state police of Queensland.

"If Haneef had been freed on bail the police would have kept him under surveillance and gathered any evidence that might be out there," the source told The Age newspaper.

"That spoiled it for the police," the source said, adding "It was done without any warning. The police knew that was an option but not that it was to be used so quickly or in such a cavalier fashion."

The officials were also concerned that Andrews had effectively introduced an element of double jeopardy with Haneef freed by the courts and then held again on another pretext, while an avalanche of political comment from several ministers also complicated the investigation.

Haneef, 27, who was wrongly accused of supporting a terror organisation after his SIM card was allegedly found with the accused in the failed UK car bombings last year, returned to India after spending three weeks in detention as his work visa was cancelled by Andrews on "character grounds".