Australian Federal Police says secret plan to thwart Haneef’s release part of normal process

November 14th, 2007 - 8:16 am ICT by admin  
The Australian newspaper today reports confidential e-mails between top AFP agents and a senior public servant advising Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews show contingencies had been developed in the event Dr Haneef was freed by Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne.

“Contingencies for containing Mr. Haneef and detaining him under the Migration Act, if it was the case he was granted bail on Monday, were in place as per arrangements today,” an e-mail said.

The Australian reports that under the Migration Act such a plan necessarily needed to involve Andrews who always maintained his decision to revoke Dr Haneef’s visa was unrelated to the Brisbane court proceedings.

The e-mail, written by Brisbane-based counter-terrorism coordinator David Craig to commanders of the AFP’s counter-terrorism unit on Saturday, July 14, was forwarded to a top adviser to Andrews, Immigration Department public servant Peter White, on the morning of Monday July 16, the paper says

A spokeswoman for the AFP said today the newspaper report showed police were following proper processes. “The email relates to normal operational contingency planning,” she said.

The latest development comes as Peter Russo, the lawyer defending Haneef, has called on the Australian Federal Police and Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to come clean on a so-called secret plan to thwart a magistrate’s decision to release the former terror suspect on bail.

Russo has obtained a copy of an e-mail under the Freedom of Information laws that shows contingencies had been developed in case the Gold Coast doctor was freed by Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne.

The Australian Labour Party’s Immigration spokesman, Tony Burke, has said that a judicial inquiry is essential to find out the truth. Burke said an inquiry could help Australians regain faith in the country’s immigration laws. (ANI)

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