Oz Govt. agrees to give Indian origin doctor substantial payout for wrong terror allegation

December 21st, 2010 - 5:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Brisbane, Dec.21 (ANI): An Indian doctor wrongly held in custody over terrorism allegations will receive a “substantial” and confidential payout from the Australian Government.

Dr Mohamed Haneef returned to Australia last week to seek compensation after he was wrongfully accused of terrorist links and held in prison in July 2007.

The compensation claim, described by his lawyers as unique in Australian legal history, also sought damages for lost earnings, the interruption to his medical career, damage to his reputation and emotional stress.

Dr Haneef was taken into custody and charged with recklessly giving support to a terrorist organisation when his mobile phone SIM card was linked to an attack in Britain in 2007.

The charges were later dropped as prosecutors admitted bungling the case, and an independent inquiry cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Dr. Haneef and his lawyers completed two days of talks with the commonwealth government in Brisbane today that will see legal action against former immigration minister Kevin Andrews dropped.

“Part of the agreement is that the parties not discuss the details of the settlement,” Dr Haneef’s lawyer Rod Hodgson told reporters as he left the meeting with the Indian-born doctor.

“Although I can say that Dr Haneef will receive a substantial compensation,” news.com.au quoted him, as saying further.

Dr Haneef said he looked forward to putting the past behind him now, and possibly returning to his old workplace, the Gold Coast Hospital.

“`I’m very pleased and happy with the resolution of this matter,” he told reporters with his wife and three-year-old daughter behind him.

“My wrongful arrest and detention in 2007 was a very traumatic experience and today’s settlement is a chance to end that part of my life and move on with my family.”

He said the outcome would help him re-establish his career and reputation.

Dr Haneef thanked his friends and supporters in Australia and India who had been a “great source of strength” throughout the ordeal.

The mediation process was chaired by former judge Tony Fitzgerald QC.(ANI)

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