Haneefs lawyers to provide fresh evidence

November 15th, 2007 - 4:55 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Nov 15 (ANI): Lawyers for Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef are hoping to present fresh evidence after the Howard Government launched its appeal against a Federal Court decision to reinstate Haneefs work visa.
Emails obtained by The Australian earlier this month suggested that the government and the Australian Federal Police had colluded to have Dr Haneef’s visa revoked after he was granted bail by a Brisbane Magistrate on terrorism related charges. The charges were later dropped.
Before today’s hearing, Dr Haneef’s solicitor, Peter Russo, told reporters he was confident Justice Spender’s original ruling would be upheld.
Having his visa reinstated would allow the Indian-trained doctor, who is currently not working, to further his career, Russo said.
Stephen Keim SC, Haneefs lawyer, is expected to seek permission from three Federal Court judges later today to use the evidence - believed to be a series of potentially damaging government emails by Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to block Dr Haneefs return to Australia.
The former Gold Coast Hospital registrar was sent out of the country in July on character grounds after Andrews ruled that Dr Haneef had been associated with people suspected of being involved in criminal activities.
But Justice Spender ruled that Andrews had applied the wrong legal test by cancelling the visa because of Dr Haneef’s “association with” British terror suspects Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed - his second cousins.
However, Justice Spender said that Andrews used the fact that Dr Haneef was a person of interest to British authorities and that he had been charged with an offence at the time of the cancellation, the decision would have been upheld in court.
Meanwhile, Solicitor General David Bennett QC, on behalf Andrews, told the Court that some aspects of immigration legislation was “fuzzy at the edges” and set a deliberately “low bar” to allow wide ministerial discretion.
He argued that Andrews had not been wrong to cancel Dr Haneef’s visa because his association with the Ahmeds, one of whom has since died from injuries sustained in the Glasgow Airport blast, went beyond family ties or casual acquaintance.
“This isn’t just an estranged second cousin on the other side of the world,” Bennett added.
“This is something more than that,” The Australian quoted Bennett, as saying.
The two legal teams were today greeted by a small group of protesters calling for justice for Dr Haneef outside the court.
Dr Haneef was charged with a terrorism-related offence in July, but the charge collapsed less than a fortnight later for lack of evidence.
He has since returned to Bangalore. (ANI)

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