New Oz Government favours broader probe of Haneef case

December 1st, 2007 - 3:04 pm ICT by admin  

Melbourne, Dec.1 (ANI): Incoming Australian Attorney-General Robert McClelland has signalled a broader investigation of the Haneef affair.
While Labor was in opposition it promised a judicial inquiry into the affair, but McClelland yesterday hinted at a broader inquiry, saying: “On any measure it looked untidy”.
He told The Weekend Australian he would ask for reports from the agencies involved in the charging and deportation of the Indian-trained doctor.
Dr Haneef, a registrar at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested and charged in July in connection with the Glasgow terror attacks and later deported by the Howard Government, despite the charges being dropped for lack of evidence.
McClelland’s comments yesterday came the day after The Weekend Australian’s Hedley Thomas won the nation’s highest journalism award, the Gold Walkley, for exposing the shortcomings of the investigation into Dr Haneef.
It also came as Dr Haneef’s lawyer, Peter Russo, told the National Press Club there should be a wholesale review of Australia’s anti-terror laws.
McClelland said he would wait for reports from the Australian Federal Police, ASIO and the Director of Public Prosecutions before deciding whether further scrutiny was necessary.
The AFP and DPP have blamed each other for the collapse of the case.
McClelland said there were broader issues to examine, such as whether there was any incompatibility between the roles of the intelligence agencies in gathering information and the police in developing adequate evidence for a successful prosecution.
“The Haneef case in some ways is an example of a breakdown in effective functioning. From afar, on any measure it looked untidy” he said.
Russo said he hoped to see the government’s appeal against a Federal Court ruling overturning former immigration minister Kevin Andrew’s decision to cancel Dr Haneef’s visa proceed, if only to clarify the authority of the minister.
Mr Russo said a further challenge to the High Court would be good for the legal community. (ANI)

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