AFP told Oz Government Haneef was not involved in terrorist activities

November 14th, 2007 - 8:19 am ICT by admin  
The disclosure yesterday of another document obtained by Dr Haneef’s legal team under the Freedom of Information laws shows that AFP counter-terrorism chief, Assistant Commissioner Frank Prendergast, had concluded after a fortnight of intense investigations in July that Dr Haneef posed no threat to anyone in Australia.

“There is no available information held by law enforcement to suggest Dr Haneef has been involved in, or engaged in planning of, violent/terrorist conduct in Australia,” Prendergast stated in the July 16 document, a request for a Criminal Justice Stay Certificate.

“As detailed above, there is no information available to law enforcement at this time to indicate that he presents a danger to the community or that he would engage in acts of violence,” he added.

But Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews insisted and relied largely on the AFP advice to cancel the visa on July 16 after a Brisbane magistrate decided three hours earlier to grant Dr Haneef bail because of exceptional circumstances, including the weakness of the police case.

A spokeswoman for Andrews yesterday rejected Opposition claims that he had been dishonest and had subverted the country’s criminal justice system.

The Australian yesterday revealed evidence of a secret “contingency” plan, disclosed in emails between the AFP officers and a senior public servant advising Andrews, to use the Migration Act to ensure Dr Haneef was kept behind bars if he was granted bail.

Confidential emails between top Australian Federal Police (AFP) agents and a senior public servant advising Andrews indicate that there was a secret plan to thwart the decision of the magistrate to release the Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef on bail.

The emails show the AFP was aware of a weekend “contingency” plan to ensure that Dr Haneef remains in jail if Andrews revokes his visa under the Migration Act in case Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne granted bail to the Indian doctor.

The emails, obtained under Freedom of Information laws by Dr Haneef’s lawyers, show that the AFP was uncertain on July 14, after an initial bail hearing whether Dr Haneef would be freed two days later by Payne.

The first email, written by Brisbane-based counter-terrorism co-ordinator David Craig to commanders of the AFP’s counter-terrorism unit at 5.22 p.m. on July 14, states: “Contingencies for containing Haneef and detaining him under the Migration Act, if he is granted bail on Monday, are in place as per arrangements today.”

Under the Migration Act, such a contingency plan necessarily needed to involve Andrews.

The email was forwarded at 8.10 a.m. on July 16 by agent Luke Morrish, the AFP’s Canberra-based acting manager for domestic counter-terrorism, to top Immigration Department public servant Peter White.

Meanwhile, AFP spokeswoman said the email was part of normal contingency planning for operations, and added that there was nothing out of the ordinary about it.

Haneef’s lawyer Peter Russo said yesterday that the Migration Act might have been misused and the contingency plan could have been illegal.

Dr Haneef insisted all along that he was innocent. He was kept behind the bars after Andrews revoked his visa. (ANI)

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