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Haneef’s defence pins hopes on loopholes

The decision to revoke the doc's visa may be challenged, report David McMahon and BR Srikanth.
Hindustan Times | By David McMahon and BR Srikanth
UPDATED ON JUL 22, 2007 04:29 AM IST

The legal bid to ensure Dr Mohammed Haneef’s freedom could hinge on inconsistencies in a departmental briefing paper presented to Federal Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews, who revoked Haneef’s visa on Monday.

Andrews has refused to review his decision to cancel Haneef’s visa, contending his decision was based on information not seen by Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne, who granted the terror suspect bail. The apparent mistakes are contained in an affidavit that was used in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court against Haneef by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) when he was granted bail.

Haneef’s lawyers are expected to challenge Australia's decision to revoke the doctor's visa in the Federal Court on August 8.

The errors in the information considered by Andrews are contained in a minute on Haneef, which was prepared by a senior public servant on Monday. Assertions in the minute are inconsistent with an official police record of interview made public by Haneef's lawyer. Part of the minute states that Haneef told the AFP he lived in Britain with Sabeel Ahmed. However, the record of interview shows that Haneef told the police he had moved out of the premises before Ahmed came.

Back home, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked the Ministry of External Affairs to extend help to Haneef during his detention in Australia and to the doctor's relatives in Bangalore, according to E Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs.

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