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Haneef's Wife says Charges Against her Husband Baseless

Bangalore, July 14 (PTI): Disappointed and angry at the Australian police charging her husband Mohammed Haneef with supporting a terrorist organisation, his wife Firdous today said the grounds on which he was being held in detention were "totally baseless and unfair".

"Why did the Australian Police wait for 12 days to press these charges against him. The police was aware from day one that he had left his SIM card with his cousins (Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed, two other suspects in the UK terror plot)," Firdous said.

"They (the Australian police) could not find anything substantial against him (Haneef). Hence, they have charged him with this," she said as hopes of release of her husband gave way to gloom.

The prospects of Haneef's release had brightened yesterday after the Australian police dropped a request to extend the detention of Haneef who is in custody for 12 days without charge in the failed UK terror plot.

The hopes were shortlived as the Australian police today charged Haneef with providing support to a terrorist organisation, saying he "recklessly" gave his mobile phone SIM card to people planning the car bomb attacks.

"I was expecting them to release him," Firdous said, adding, "but they have decided to frame these charges after such a long delay.

"Was there anything wrong in his having a communication with his cousins (Sabeel and Kafeel)," she asked.

Haneef applies for bail

Melbourne, July 14 (PTI): Detained Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef today applied for bail after being charged with supporting a terrorist organisation in connection with the failed UK terror plot.

Haneef faced the Brisbane Magistrates court in this connection. But, following an hour-long hearing the court was adjourned and would resume proceedings again at 3pm (local time).

The Indian doctor faced the court charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation by allegedly "recklessly" providing his SIM card to UK terror suspects Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed when he left the UK for Australia last year.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years.

His lawyer Peter Russo said: "We have just got to take one step at a time and try and work our way through it."

Haneef sent e-mail after failed UK attacks

Melbourne, July 14 (PTI): Detained Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef sent an e-mail to an associate shortly after the failed UK terror attacks saying he would have to leave Australia in a hurry and did not mention visiting his ailing wife and child, according to evidence obtained by federal police.

The e-mail is not enough to charge Haneef and much would depend on how he conducted himself during interviews which resumed last night, the 'Sydney Morning Herald' quoted counter-terrorism officials as saying today.

Haneef and his family have said he planned to visit his wife and newborn daughter in his home town of Bangalore. Federal police were sceptical. In an affidavit presented before a magistrate Jim Gordon, an officer was quoted as saying he suspected Haneef "has not been entirely truthful" about his departure.

Two sources have confirmed that much of that suspicion rests on an e-mail Haneef sent just before his thwarted departure and after news of the initial British arrests had been aired, the newspaper said.

"He said he had to leave in a hurry. He made no mention of his sick wife or child," said an official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Haneef is related to two of the men detained in Britain over the plot, Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed. He shared a house with them in Liverpool before he came to Australia last September.

Police allege Haneef remained in close contact with Kafeel after coming to Australia and had links with another man detained over the British plot, Bilal Abdulla.

Ahmed and Abdulla drove the Jeep Cherokee into the front doors of Glasgow Airport's passenger terminal. It failed to explode, and the two men then set themselves alight in an apparent suicide attempt.

Australian Police Charge Haneef with Support to Terror

NDTV Report

Brisbane, Jul 14: Mohammad Haneef, the Indian doctor from Bangalore who has been detained in Brisbane since July 2, has finally been charged by the Australian Federal Police.

Haneef is the second person to be charged in connection with the failed terror attacks in London and Glasgow.

The other is Bilal Abdullah, who is being held in London on charges of conspiring to set off explosions.

A photographer clicks as a relative of Firdaus Arshiya, wife of Haneef, tries to gain entry into house at BTM layout in Bangalore on Friday amidst hope of Haneef's release in Australia.

Haneef has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organization. The maximum penalty for this is 15 years in prison.

Haneef will be produced in the Brisbane Magistrate's Court later on Saturday, and his lawyer Peter Russo says that he will apply for bail.

Haneef allegedly provided a SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed, who along with his brother Kafeel are among seven other suspects being held in Britain.

Rain or shine, the mediapersons wait outside the residence of Firdaus Arshiya, wife of Haneef at BTM lay-out in Bangalore, in the hope of getting the news of release from Australia, on Friday. (Daijiworld exclusive pics by Akash Poojari Polali)

Haneef, Sabeel and Kafeel reportedly shared a house in Liverpool for up to two years before Haneef moved to Australia, and remained in contact by phone and online messaging after that.

Haneef was stopped at Brisbane airport on July 2, as he tried to leave Australia for India on a one-way ticket.

He has maintained that he was rushing home to see his wife and newborn daughter. However, the police have said that they do not believe his explanation.

The police have also said they suggest a possible link between Haneef and Abdullah, who was in the burning jeep that Kafeel tried to crash into the Glasgow airport.

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Comment on this article

  • K. S. Mayya, Mangalore/South Korea

    Sun, Jul 15 2007

    Indians abroad must be careful with this SIM card. This is the second time an Indian is held for this. On previous occasion, two Gujaratis were held (I guess during Madrid bombings?) but later released without being charged. I guess the pressure on the police to release was high enough that they decided to charge him so that they can have further time to question/collect evidence against him.

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  • Huraish, Mangalore / Al Jubail, K.S.A

    Sun, Jul 15 2007

    Till yesterday I was just happy to know that Australia has a very good Law where even an expatriate can fight for Justice unlike India where even it’s Citizen (Specially Muslims) can be killed by police officers naming him as a terrorist. But today the scenario has changed.

    I was just shocked to hear that Dr. Haneef was charged with “providing Support to Terrorist Organization”. He has been charged because he had provided a mobile phone SIM card to Terrorists. The “Terrorists” they are mentioning here are two of Dr Haneef’s cousins who are still suspects in Britain.

    The Australian police have already made them Terrorists while the according to British police, who are investigating the case they are just suspects. Hats off to Australian police and Australian Law!!!

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