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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

C’wealth to review Haneef case evidence

The review is believed to follow a series of concerns about lapses in the case, reports David McMahon.

world Updated: Jul 26, 2007 10:07 IST
David McMahon
David McMahon
Hindustan Times

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Damian Bugg, announced on Wednesday that he would review all material relating to the case of Dr Mohammed Haneef, detained in connection with the failed terror attacks in Britain in June end.

"Clearly not every matter which is prosecuted by my office is reviewed by me," Bugg said. "But there are matters which have developed as this case has progressed which I am examining, and a broader review of the available material and the proceedings to date is the best way to examine these matters appropriately."

The review follows a series of concerns about inconsistencies in the case.

Some legal experts have maintained that if the court finds Haneef not guilty, he could win a six-figure compensation for the way he has been treated by the authorities. Sydney-based Greg Walsh, an expert in matters relating to wrongful prosecution, said if Haneef was acquitted, he could possibly sue for wrongful arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment, with a potential claim of up to 1 million Australian dollars (Rs 3.5 crore). "He would also have an action in defamation with the imputation that he was a criminal and a terrorist," he said.

Haneef's legal team has been inundated with offers of help. It is believed some leading law firms are keen to pursue legal action on his behalf.

The offers of legal assistance came as Queensland Bar Association president Hugh Fraser, QC, dismissed claims that Haneef's barrister, Stephen Keim, had committed contempt of court by leaking a transcript of Haneef's interrogation by the police. He said Keim acted "honestly" and "with the best intentions".

Haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo, on Wednesday called on prosecutors to immediately amend the wording of the charge against his client to address what he described as technical inaccuracies. "The charge as it reads isn't correct and from my correspondence with (prosecutors) they realise that, so therefore they were going to fix it up," Russo said. But I want it fixed now. (The charge) basically remains the same but it's just deficient in the way it's been drafted."

First Published: Jul 25, 2007 20:11 IST