'Haneef hopes Australian terror probe will vindicate him'
An Indian-born doctor arrested in Australia over failed bomb attacks in Britain last year hopes an inquiry will prove there was never any basis to charge him, his lawyers said on Monday.world Updated: Dec 22, 2008 11:26 IST
An Indian-born doctor arrested in Australia over failed bomb attacks in Britain last year hopes an inquiry will prove there was never any basis to charge him, his lawyers said on Monday.
In March, Attorney-General Robert McClelland ordered retired judge John Clarke to investigate the detention of Mohamed Haneef after the Muslim medic was held for almost two weeks before being charged with a terrorism offence.
The case against Haneef subsequently collapsed due to lack of evidence.
"We would hope for Mr Clarke concluding there was never any basis to hold Dr Haneef for an extended period of time, nor was there any basis to charge him," Haneef's lawyer, Rod Hodgson, said.
Hodgson told national broadcaster ABC that senior Australian Federal Police, by pressing ahead with the charges against Haneef, ignored the advice of Queensland state police and intelligence officers.
Haneef was arrested by federal police in July 2007 and held for almost two weeks without charge after he was allegedly linked to the militants responsible for failed car bombings in London and Glasgow.
The charge centred on a mobile phone SIM card that Haneef gave to his second cousin Sabeel Ahmed, who was later charged with withholding information following the failed bombings.
Sabeel's older brother Kafeel Ahmed died after ramming a blazing car into Glasgow Airport on June 30.
The case against Haneef fell apart when it was found prosecutors had supplied misleading evidence to a court. By then, the government had cancelled Haneef's visa and he was forced to return to India.
Haneef, who now works in the United Arab Emirates, said he hoped Clarke's report would "address all the wrongs that have been done to me."
"I hope he finds I should never have been charged and should never have had my visa cancelled as well," he told The Australian newspaper.
The newspaper said Haneef's case had prompted the Australian government to create a parliamentary committee on law enforcement to oversee the Australian Federal Police.
In announcing the inquiry in March, McClelland said it was needed to ensure the handling of the case against Haneef did not dent public confidence in Australia's anti-terrorist measures.