Haneef sues former Australian minister

July 1st, 2010 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, July 1 (IANS) Mohamed Haneef, an Indian doctor who was falsely accused of aiding terrorists, has launched defamation proceedings against a former Australian minister.
Haneef’s lawyers said they lodged the suit against former immigration minister Kevin Andrews in the Supreme Court in Brisbane Thursday, Australian news agency AAP reported.

A claim has also been made for unlawful arrest and abuse of power against the government, the report said.

“The proceedings have been filed on behalf of Dr Haneef simply as a safeguard to protect his legal rights with regard to the time limits which apply to the various legal actions,” Rod Hodgson, Haneef’s lawyer, said in a statement.

The 30-year-old physician, a former Gold Coast registrar, was held in Australia for three weeks in July 2007 after being charged with supporting a terrorist organisation by “recklessly” giving his mobile phone SIM card to people planning bomb attacks in Britain.

Andrews was strongly criticised when he cancelled Haneef’s visa, just hours after a magistrate granted the doctor bail.

The charges against Haneef were eventually dropped and he returned to his family in Bangalore.

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