Oz court reserves ruling on access of documents in Dr Haneefs case

June 18th, 2008 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne , June 18 (ANI): The Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Brisbane reportedly reserved its ruling today on an application from the lawyers representing Indian doctor Mohammad Haneef to access certain documents which immigration officials had refused to provide.

Of the nearly 300 documents under contention before the Tribunal hearing, only six remain under dispute after government lawyers agreed to release most of the documents yesterday.

The Indian-trained doctors legal team has also conceded several of the documents cannot be released because they are protected by the Migration Act, reported The Australian.

Dr Haneef, a junior doctor at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested on July 2 last year over failed terror plots in London and Glasgow . He was held in custody for 12 days before finally being charged with supporting terrorism.

Despite being granted bail by a Brisbane magistrate, Dr Haneef was forced to remain in custody after then immigration minister Kevin Andrews cancelled his work visa.

The charge collapsed less than a fortnight later and Dr Haneef returned to his family in Bangalore . It was revealed in yesterday’s court hearing that former prime minister John Howards department was involved in the matter within two days of Dr Haneef’s arrest.

Despite Howard’s claims he had no involvement in the matter, the documents reveal that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet had helped prepare an options paper discussing ways to handle the matter on July 4, 2007. The options paper is one of the six documents currently under consideration by the tribunal.

Tribunal members Justice Brian Tamberlin and deputy president Bruce McPherson said they hoped to reach a decision on the documents soon. (ANI)

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