Haneef’s lawyer urges Oz Immigration Minister Andrews to come clean

November 14th, 2007 - 8:16 am ICT by admin  
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 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 Immigration Department public servant Peter White on the morning of Monday July 16, Russo said.

“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,” the e-mail said.

Dr Haneef, who maintained his innocence throughout the ordeal, was granted bail by Ms Payne over a terrorism related charge on the Monday morning partly, she said, because of the AFP’s weak case against him.

However, the Gold Coast Hospital registrar was kept behind bars after Andrews revoked his visa.

According to The Age, Russo said the e-mail was another piece of information to be used in his fight to have Dr Haneef’s visa reinstated.

“This document is a significant piece in the jigsaw of information available and I hope that the parties of this conversation come clean,” Mr Russo said.

“Someone had put a contingency plan in place to have him detained.”

The fact that the only person who could cancel the visa was the immigration minister directly links Andrews to the contingency plan, he said.

Andrews stated at the time his decision to revoke Dr Haneef’s visa was based on his responsibilities under the Migration Act, on advice from Australian Federal Police and a character test which Dr Haneef had failed.

A spokeswoman for Andrews said today he had no knowledge of the correspondence.

“He didn’t see the e-mails. He hasn’t seen the e-mails. Never heard of the police officer (mentioned),” the spokeswoman said.

The 27-year-old Indian-born doctor was detained on suspicion of involvement in a terrorist bombing incident in the United Kingdom which involved his cousins.

The charge - of supporting a terrorist organisation - against Dr Haneef has since been dropped and the Federal Court has overturned the cancellation of his visa, although the federal government has launched an appeal.

The next hearing in that appeal will be held in the Federal Court on November 15. (ANI)

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