Oz judge rejects Haneef’s lawyer’s demand for an inquiry

April 30th, 2008 - 4:38 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Apr.30 (ANI): Former New South Wales Supreme Court judge John Clarke has rejected a request from Dr Haneef’s lawyer Stephen Keim, to ask federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland for royal commission powers, which include the right to compel witnesses to give evidence or provide documents.
Justice Clarke said he had received assurances from government agencies involved, including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, that they would fully co-operate with the inquiry.
“I am confident that the inquiry can be effectively conducted in the present form,” The Age quoted Judge Clarke as telling a packed room of lawyers and journalists.
“I have confidence that this inquiry will be able to continue and provide a proper report … dealing with the facts and analysis of those facts, and recommendations following from those facts. I want to emphasise that any report that bears my name will be a proper report,” he added.
Justice Clarke said if agencies stopped him from gathering all relevant information, he would ask for additional powers.
He said he would request an interview with Dr Haneef. Keim said his client did wish to be interviewed by Justice Clarke and wanted to provide all the information he could so the facts could be laid bare.
“It is apparent … that a series of appalling decisions have been made by police, prosecution and immigration officials, including possibly by persons at a high level in those organisations,” he told the inquiry.
“Dr. Haneef continues to have his reputation imperilled and his personal safety threatened by public statements by the Australian Federal Police that he continues to be the subject of investigation by that organisation. He is very keen to clear his name, once and for all,” said Keim.
Dr Haneef was held without charge for 12 days after being arrested at Brisbane International Airport last July for his alleged links to a failed terrorist plot in the UK.
The Indian national was eventually charged with supporting terrorism but the charge collapsed within days, prompting his return to his family in Bangalore.
His legal team then successfully appealed the decision by the then immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, to cancel his visa on “character grounds”, paving the way for his return to work in Australia if he can find work.
Justice Clarke said he expected to receive all written submissions by May 16. He is due to deliver his report to the Federal Government by September 30. (ANI)

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