Haneefs Oz lawyers honoured for their extraordinary pursuit of justice

February 14th, 2009 - 11:38 am ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Feb 14 (ANI): Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef lawyers, who helped after he was wrongfully held on terror charges in Australia, have been honoured for their extraordinary pursuit of justice.

Barrister Stephen Keim, SC, and solicitor Peter Russo, were once accused of professional misconduct after Keim leaked police documents to a newspaper in the wake of the 2007 controversy, the Herald Sun reported.

Within a fortnight of its publication, the charges against the Indian doctor were dropped after prosecutors admitted they did not have a case.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) on Saturday jointly awarded the Civil Justice Award Keim and Russo.

The award, which has previously been presented to Claire OConnor, the barrister for Australias first stolen generation case, and asbestos campaigner Bernie Banton, recognises the fight to preserve individual rights despite personal sacrifice.

ALA national president Clara Davies said the pair is a shining example of lawyers willing to work above and beyond for the sake of justice and their client, the paper reported.

It was to their own detriment. But they havent worried about what the impact on them has been and their sole driving force was `How can I assist someone else? There was no question that they were going to see justice for Dr Haneef and it was … an extraordinary pursuit of justice, she said.

Keim was publicly criticised by AFP commissioner Mick Keelty for his unorthodox leaking of a 142-page police transcript to the media. (ANI)

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