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New attorney general may expand probe in Haneef case PDF Print E-mail

© Neena Bhandari, Indo Asian News Service

Sydney, Dec 1 (IANS) Robert McClelland, who is set to take over as Australia's attorney general, has indicated that there will be a broader investigation into the case of Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef who was charged with supporting terrorism before being released.

As the blame game continues between the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the prosecutors, McClelland was quoted in The Weekend Australian as saying: "On any measure it looked untidy".

The Director of Public Prosecutions has admitted it had bungled the case and there was insufficient evidence to sustain a prosecution.

McClelland told the newspaper he would wait for reports from the AFP, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Director of Public Prosecutions before deciding whether further scrutiny was necessary.

He said: "We want to get briefings from the agencies first on how they may have modified their practices in light of criticism they have had."

"The Haneef case in some ways is an example of a breakdown in effective functioning. From afar, on any measure it looked untidy," he told The Weekend Australian.

Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd has flagged a judicial inquiry into the failed prosecution case against the former Gold Coast registrar, 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 failed London and Glasgow bombings.

The charges were later dropped and Haneef returned to his family in Bangalore after former immigration minister Kevin Andrews cancelled his 457 work visa.

Haneef's lawyers have been fighting a legal battle to have his 457 work visa reinstated. His lawyer Peter Russo is keen for a proper conclusion to the Federal Court appeal lodged by the former government against the decision to return Haneef's visa.



 
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