Bungled Haneef probe cost Australian taxpayers $6.5 million

Updated on Feb 18, 2008 11:56 AM IST
The bungled investigation of Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef has cost Australian taxpayers a whopping Australian $7.5 million ($$6.5 million).
HT Image
HT Image
IANS | ByNeena Bhandari, Sydney

The bungled investigation of Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef has cost Australian taxpayers a whopping Australian $7.5 million ($$6.5 million), according to official estimates that were made public on Monday.

The revelation comes as the government plans to conduct a judicial inquiry into why Haneef was wrongly charged with supporting a terrorist organisation involved in the failed 2007 British bombings.

Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Mick Keelty, who has come under fire throughout the failed probe into the former Gold Coast registrar's case, on Monday told a Senate Estimates Committee, "As at the end of December 2007, expenses for the investigation are in excess of $7.5 million. That is made up of approximately $5.5 million of employee expenses of which $1.6 accounts for overtime and approximately $1 million in supply expenses."

Keelty said the AFP investigation of Haneef and the related foiled bomb attacks in Glasgow and London involved 249 AFP officers, 225 Queensland state police, 54 West Australia police, 40 New South Wales police, 12 officers from the Federal Attorney-General's department, six customs officers, two Northern Territory police, one Tasmanian police officer, six translators, four officers from other law-enforcement agencies and two British policemen posted to Australia.

They took more than 300 witness statements and dealt with 16 telephone intercepts, six surveillance devices and 22 search warrants. The police seized 623 gigabytes of computer data and examined 349 forensic samples.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland is expected to announce the details of a judicial inquiry into the Haneef case soon.

Soon after taking over as prime minister last December, Kevin Rudd had said the Labour Party-led government would institute an inquiry into the failed case of Haneef, in a major policy shift from his predecessor John Howard-led coalition government's stand on the Haneef case.

Keelty told the committee, "The AFP welcomes any inquiry into our role in the Haneef inquiry. We have absolutely nothing to hide."

"We have reviewed the Haneef matter as a matter of course and there's nothing that's arisen out of those reviews that have required us to alter our policies, or approaches to those investigations," the AFP Commissioner said, adding that the 28-year-old doctor did not have a case for compensation.

"Every step we have taken has had some form of judicial oversight," Keelty said.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party of Australia Senator George Brandis questioned the move by the federal government to conduct a judicial inquiry into the police handling of the Haneef case while the AFP was continuing its investigation.

Brandis told the media: "It's a little more difficult to understand how a new attorney-general in an incoming government would commit to that course, if he had been briefed by the AFP that the investigation was current."

The AFP, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and former immigration minister Kevin Andrews have all drawn flak for embarrassing faux pas in the failed case of Haneef, who was incarcerated for three weeks after being charged with supporting a terrorist organisation by "recklessly" giving his mobile phone SIM card to people planning the London and Glasgow bombings.

The charges were later dropped and Haneef returned to his family in Bangalore in July last year after Andrews cancelled his work visa.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A bank employee leaves the Federal Bank of Lebanon, after being held hostage by an armed customer demanding the return of his bank deposits, in the capital Beirut's Hamra street.

    Hostage standoff at Beirut bank ends with gunman's arrest

    A gunman demanding a Beirut bank let Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, a 42-year-old food-delivery driver withdraw his trapped savings to pay his father's medical bills took up to 10 people hostage in a seven-hour standoff Thursday before surrendering in exchange for what a family lawyer said was $35,000 of his money. A 42-year-old food-delivery driver, Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, was promptly arrested and taken away by police as he walked out of the bank. Some bystanders hailed him as a hero.

  • Nunay Mohamed, 25, who fled the drought-stricken Lower Shabelle area, holds her one-year old malnourished child at a makeshift camp for the displaced on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. (File image)

    Somalia’s worst drought in 40 years displaces 1 million people

    Somalia's worst drought in more than 40 years has internally displaced 1 million people since the dry conditions struck in January 2021, according to the United Nations. This year alone, an estimated 755,000 people fled their homes in search of water, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in a statement on its website.

  • File photo of Sri Lanka's then president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    Ex-Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrives in Thailand

    Former Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Thailand Thursday evening following his departure from Singapore. Rajapaksa was granted entry into Thailand following a request from the Sri Lankan government, NewsWire reported. He left Singapore on Thursday after nearly a month's stay in Singapore. Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the official resignation of Rajapaksa on July 15. Sri Lanka has been facing its worst economic crisis since its independence.

  • Chinese Yuan Wang 5 military vessel has the ability to map ocean beds and track satellites of adversary nations.

    Chinese vessel won't dock at Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port as scheduled: Report

    China's high-tech Chinese research vessel, which was to dock at Sri Lanka's Hambantota Port, won't reach there as scheduled, according to a media report on Thursday, citing the port authorities. Newsfirst.lk website reported that the Harbour Master for the Hambantota Port said no vessel can enter the port without his permission. It said the Chinese ballistic missile and satellite tracking ship 'Yuan Wang 5' will not reach Hambantota Port on Thursday.

  • A customer pumps gas at an Exxon gas station in Miami.

    US gasoline prices fall below $4 for first time since March

    The average price of US retail gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time in months, giving some relief to drivers in the world's largest consumer of the fuel. The national average price for regular unleaded gas fell to $3.990 a gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. The latest price drop may help President Joe Biden's administration and Democrats in Congress during November's midterm elections.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, August 12, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now