Inquiry into Haneef’s case ‘a must’: Oz opposition leader

November 14th, 2007 - 8:19 am ICT by admin  
Rudd was responding to confirmation that a Australian Federal Police (AFP) officer and the staff of Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews discussed a contingency plan to keep Dr Haneef in jail if a magistrate granted him bail.

He said that the Labour Party demanded Prime Minister John Howard to establish an inquiry.

“I think there is a mounting case in terms of ministerial mismanagement of this matter,” Rudd said.

“We must get to the bottom of it and therefore a judicial inquiry is appropriate. If we form the next government there will be one,” Rudd said.

“Each time new information comes out it becomes clearer and clearer to me there are many questions to be answered, and given the nature of this case and given that some of it involves sensitive information and classified information, a judicial inquiry is the proper forum,” he said.

“I would call upon Howard to have the integrity to call such a judicial inquiry. It’s the only means by which we’ll have the truth,” the quoted Rudd, as saying.

Confidential emails between top Australian Federal Police (AFP) agents and a senior public servant advising Andrews indicate that there was a secret plan to thwart the decision of the magistrate to release the Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef on bail.

The emails show the AFP was aware of a weekend “contingency” plan to ensure that Dr Haneef remains in jail if Andrews revokes his visa under the Migration Act in case Brisbane magistrate Jacqui Payne granted bail to the Indian doctor.

The emails, obtained under Freedom of Information laws by Dr Haneef’s lawyers, show that the AFP was uncertain on July 14, after an initial bail hearing whether Dr Haneef would be freed two days later by Payne.

The first email, written by Brisbane-based counter-terrorism co-ordinator David Craig to commanders of the AFP’s counter-terrorism unit at 5.22 p.m. on July 14, states: “Contingencies for containing Haneef and detaining him under the Migration Act, if he is granted bail on Monday, are in place as per arrangements today.”

Under the Migration Act, such a contingency plan necessarily needed to involve Andrews.

The email was forwarded at 8.10 a.m. on July 16 by agent Luke Morrish, the AFP’s Canberra-based acting manager for domestic counter-terrorism, to top Immigration Department public servant Peter White.

Meanwhile, AFP spokeswoman said the email was part of normal contingency planning for operations, and added that there was nothing out of the ordinary about it.

Haneef’s lawyer Peter Russo said yesterday that the Migration Act might have been misused and the contingency plan could have been illegal.

Dr Haneef insisted all along that he was innocent. He was kept behind the bars after Andrews revoked his visa. (ANI)

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