Australia apologises to Indian-origin doctor
Melbourne, Dec 23 (IANS) The Australian government Thursday issued a formal apology to Indian-origin doctor Mohamed Haneef, who was wrongly detained on terrorism-related charges three years ago, expressing the hope that he can now move on with his life.
Haneef received a substantial compensation payout from the government this week for his detention in July 2007.
"The AFP (Australian Federal Police) acknowledges that it was mistaken and that Dr. Haneef was innocent of the offence of which he was suspected," the AAP quoted the government statement.
"The commonwealth apologises and hopes that the compensation to be paid to Dr. Haneef will mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and allow Dr. Haneef to move forward with his life and career."
The government also conceded that arresting, charging, detaining and eventually cancelling Haneef's visa created "serious consequences for him and his family".
The statement, which was released by the attorney-general's department Wednesday, agrees that the terms of the settlement remain secret.
Haneef was taken into custody and charged with giving support to a terrorist organisation when his mobile phone SIM card was linked to an attack in Britain in 2007.
The charges were later dropped as prosecutors admitted bungling the case, and an independent inquiry cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Haneef and his lawyers completed two days of talks in Brisbane with Australian government officials Tuesday.
Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson said the apology reaffirmed his client's innocence and follows the resolution of the doctor's compensation claim earlier this week.
"We congratulate the government for recognising an injustice done on the watch of the previous government and for this public apology and declaration of innocence," Hodgson was quoted as saying. "The apology means a lot to our client."
Hodgson said the Australian people would form their own judgments about former immigration minister Kevin Andrews' refusal to offer his own apology.
"On one side we have ASIO, the Queensland Police Service, the findings of the Clarke Inquiry, the AFP and the current Australian government all prepared to declare that Dr Haneef is innocent," Hodgson said.
He said Haneef's family remained in Brisbane after the conclusion of compensation talks this week.
Federal Police has dropped its investigation
into NRI Doctor's bomb plot case
Australia, Aug 29, 2008
Acording to the local media, the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
said that the agency had recently informed Attorney-General Robert
McClelland and Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus that Dr Haneef
"Is no longer a person of interest. The AFP has concluded
its active inquiries, although some long-standing overseas inquiries
are yet to be fully resolved.
Dr Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson said that he is unable to give
further details, whether Dr Haneef wanted to seek compensation
or whether he would be returning to Australia to work.
NRI Dr. arrested in connection with a British bomb plot,
blames a mobile phone SIM card
Australia, July 07, 2007
In connection with the terror attacks in London, NRI Dr Mohammed
Haneef, 27, Indian citizen, was arrested on July 02, at the Brisbane
Airport while trying to board a plane to India with a one-way
ticket. The police traced calls between his phone and that of
at least one of the other bomb plot suspects. This call was lengthy
conversation and possible that his friend in UK tipped off that
the police might after him
His brother, Shoaib says that Haneef was returning to India to
see his infant daughter and niece.
His father-in-law Afshaq Ahmed said, Dr Haneef gave the card
to a friend before he left Britain last year for Australia. A
SIM, or subscriber identity module, card is a removable card for
mobile phones, allowing a user to change phones by removing the
card from one mobile and inserting it into another.
He wanted to take his wife and daughter to Australia after getting
the infant a passport, and so traveled without a return ticket.
The police became suspicious that he was fleeing Australia.
The police have also arrested seven people and most of them in
medical field in UK:
- NRI, Dr. Sabeel Ahmed, 26, working at the Warrington Hospital
in Liverpool. He is from Bangalore
- Dr. Bilal Talal Samad Abdullah, diabetes specialist at Royal
Alexandra Hospital in Paisley. He is from Iraq
- Dr. Mohammad Asha, 26. is of Palestinian descent but grew
up in Jordan.
- Dr. Mohammad Asha's wife Marwah Dana Asha, a laboratory researcher.
- Kafeel Ahmed with 90 percent burns due to the car blaze.
It is not confirmed, he is a doctor or other profession
- Two more unnamed medical student
NRIs in Australia are very concerned about Dr Haneef's arrest.
There may possible backlash against NRIs:
Dr. Sunder Nath from Sydney said that we are more than 230,00
NRIs in Australia, had a great respect but now people are looking
us as a terrorist. In every society there are stereotyped people,
now it is getting worse for us in Australia.
Sant Singh, a hotel owner said, the federal government will make
some changes in immigration. These changes may be made to security
procedures for the people who are applying for working visas in
Australia. NRI Doctors are making good money in these countries,
now I am in fear that patient will make a choice to go to other