Desperate Oz Police broke rules during probe of terror suspect

November 14th, 2007 - 3:18 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Nov.14 (ANI): Australian Federal Police (AFP) were so desperate to elicit information from Izhar Ul-Haque that they questioned him in a maximum-security jail for two-and-half hours without cautioning him or telling his lawyer about the interrogation.
Court documents released yesterday show AFP officers aggressively targeted the Sydney medical student in their quest for information about suspected bomb-plotter Faheem Khalid Lodhi and believed Ul-Haque would be more likely to turn informant if he were charged with a terrorism offence.
According to The Australian, the documents show AFP officers opposing Ul-Haque’s application for bail, after his April 2004 arrest, despite privately admitting he posed no danger to Australian society.
Commonwealth prosecutors withdrew terrorism charges against Ul-Haque on Monday after a judge found ASIO and AFP officers had grossly misused their powers to obtain admissions from him.
It was alleged Ul-Haque had travelled to Pakistan and trained with the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba in January and February 2003 - before it was classified as a banned organisation. After his return, federal police wanted Ul-Haque to provide them with information, or become a witness against, Lodhi, a Sydney architect suspected of planning a terrorist bombing.
Lodhi was jailed for 20 years last year for conspiring to bomb the national electricity grid.
AFP agents urged Ul-Haque to inform on Lodhi or wear a listening device and record their conversations. When he refused, citing the opinion of his family, whom he had consulted about the request, an AFP officer allegedly said: “Well you know what they say about opinions: opinions are like arseholes; everyone’s got one.”
New South Wales Supreme Court judge Michael Adams asked federal agent Bruce Pegg as why he did not caution Ul-Haque “when you were going to ask him questions which were capable of exposing him to a criminal charge?”
“There was no intention in my mind of using that conversation in any proceedings against Mr Ul-Haque,” Agent Pegg said.
Justice Adams: “It would rather depend on what he told you, wouldn’t it?”
Murray Smith, a former anatomy lecturer of Ul-Haque at the University of NSW, where Ul-Haque will graduate next month, said he expected the 24-year-old to become an excellent doctor.
Ul-Haque completed the final three years of his medical degree despite being forced to spend three months of that time in the high-risk management unit, or Super Max, at Goulburn jail in southern NSW.
Court documents show that after his arrest, Ul-Haque told AFP officers he returned from the LET camp in 2003 because “I decided I wanted to be a doctor, not a fighter”.
Dr Smith said Ul-Haque initially failed the second year of his medical degree before travelling to Pakistan, but returned to the university and told his lecturer the decision to attend the training camp was a mistake.
He continued with the course despite his subsequent arrest, trial and internment in prison, and will now spend a year as an intern in an undisclosed hospital. (ANI)

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