Oz Police accused of denying lawyer to Haneef, hiding transcripts

July 26th, 2008 - 1:01 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, July 26 (ANI): The Australian Federal Police (AFP) today said that it would not be responding to any parallel media inquiry, over allegations that it repeatedly denied a lawyer to Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef during his first interview.

The AFP has also been accused of secretly hiding transcripts of interviews with Dr Haneef for more than a year.

Dr Haneefs legal team Maurice Blackburn lawyers claimed that the AFP repeatedly ignored the Indian doctors request for a lawyer in the moments after his arrest.

Maurice Blackburn partner Rod Hodgson said the AFP could have broken the law by failing to provide five records of interviews taken as police were arresting Dr Haneef on July 2, 2007 and in the first few days of his 25-day detention.

Dr Haneef was held for 12-days before he was charged with supporting a terrorist organisation under 2004 amendments to the Commonwealth Crimes Act.

His visa was cancelled by then immigration minister Kevin Andrews just hours after a Brisbane magistrate granted him bail on July 16.

In response to inquiries, an AFP spokeswoman said the allegations fell within the terms of reference of the government-ordered Clarke Inquiry, headed by retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke.

Dr Haneefs case collapsed for lack of evidence prior to the government ordering an inquiry into the AFPs handling of the case, news.com.au reported.

Hodgson said that they became aware of the additional five interviews two weeks ago only after counsel for the Clarke inquiry asked the AFP to provide them with copies.

He said the disclosure contradicted an assurance given in writing by the AFPs head of counter terrorism, Ramzi Jabbour, in September last year that records of interview that Dr Haneef participated in had been supplied to his lawyers.

The Indian Doctor who was working on the Gold Coast was arrested at Brisbane International Airport after police linked his mobile phone SIM card to botched terror attacks in Britain. (ANI)

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