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Doctor Haneef is Out, But Not Completely Free

Update:Haneef leaves. The Australian Immigration Minister may release classified information he used to revoke visa. PJM Sydney editor Richard Fernandez reports.

by
Richard Fernandez

Bio

July 27, 2007 - 4:32 am

Mohammed Haneef’s passport was returned and the doctor flew to India — but not after receiving $100,000 for an exclusive interview with 60 Minutes in which he told his version of the events. Mr Andrews revoked Dr Haneef’s visa while he was in custody. Australian Federal immigration minister Kevin Andrews defended his decision not to reinstate Haneef’s visa. “I’m seeking advice as to whether I can now release the protected information which I based my decision on,” Mr Andrews said. “I have to wait for further advice in relation to that.”


The case against the Dr. Mohamed Haneef -accused in connection with the London and Glasgow terror attacks- has collapsed, but have authorities given up the investigation?

Although the “charges dropped” headlines may give the impression that Dr. Mohamed Haneef, is out of the woods, he technically remains under detention and the investigation is continuing. Dr. Haneef is suspected in connection with recent terror attacks in the UK. The doctor remains in technical detention, but the walls of his confinement have expanded dramatically. The Sydney Morning Herald says,

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews then said Dr Haneef would be released from custody and held in residential detention pending a decision on his visa, which has been cancelled. … That means that he has to reside at an agreed place, he’s free to actually move about in the community, but as a matter of legal principle he is still formally … in detention.

He was released after it became apparent that the charges filed against him would not hold water. Prosecutors withdrew their case because two key facts upon which they were based were untrue. “One was that Dr Haneef’s SIM card had been found in a burning jeep at Glasgow Airport when, in fact, it had been found in the possession of the brother of a terrorism suspect in Liverpool. The second error was that Dr Haneef had once lived with some of the UK bombing suspects, when in fact he had not.”

However, Mike Keelty, who is the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (roughly the equivalent of the FBI) said “this remains an ongoing investigation. It is a complex and painstaking process and the AFP will continue to work with its UK colleagues to fully explore the evidence and establish the facts.”

Keelty’s remarks raise the possibility that the Australian government may charge Haneef based on sounder evidence. “Asked if he would rule out further charges, Mr Keelty said: “The investigation is continuing. We don’t intend to scale down the investigation.”

Richard Fernandez's portal is at Wretchard.com.
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