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Haneef wins 'substantial' compensation from Australia

Indian doctor Mohammad Haneef has struck a deal with the Australian government for receiving a "substantial" compensation for his wrongful detention, three years after the traumatic experience which he said had a serious impact on his life and career.

world Updated: Dec 21, 2010 16:49 IST

Indian doctor Mohammad Haneef has struck a deal with the Australian government for receiving a "substantial" compensation for his wrongful detention, three years after the traumatic experience which he said had a serious impact on his life and career.

Haneef, who was detained after being wrongly accused of having links to the failed Glasglow bombing attempt in 2007, returned to Australia last week to settle his compensation claim.

The 31-year-old doctor said the settlement would help him re-establish his career and reputation and stated that he would consider returning to the country.

The lawyers of the doctor have refused to divulge details of the compensation which was confidential, but said the amount agreed upon is "substantial".

Haneef and his lawyers completed two days of talks with the government in Brisbane on Tuesday, and this will see legal action against former immigration minister Kevin Andrews dropped, AAP reported.

"Part of the agreement is that the parties not discuss the details of the settlement," Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson told reporters as he left the meeting.

"Although I can say that Dr Haneef will receive a substantial compensation," he was quoted as saying.

The compensation claim had also sought damages for lost earnings, the interruption to his medical career, damage to his reputation and emotional stress.

The claim has been described as unique in Australian legal history by his lawyers.

Before the mediation talks started, lawyers had said the compensation could be up to 1 million dollars.

"I'm very pleased and happy with the resolution of this matter," Haneef, who is accompanied by his wife Firdous and three-year-old daughter Haniyah, told reporters after the meeting.

"My wrongful arrest and detention in 2007 was a very traumatic experience and today's settlement is a chance to end that part of my life and move on with my family," he said.

He said he and his family still look forward to possibly returning to Australia one day, as he thanked his friends and supporters in this country and back in India who he said had been a "great source of strength".

He said he would consider the prospect of reapplying for his original job on the Gold Coast.

"It certainly will take some time to get on track to get out to Australia. I need to get my registration sorted and other things and I need to discuss this with my family," he said, adding it could take less than a year.