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Be Transparent in Haneef Case: India Tells Australian Govt

Daijiworld Media Network – New Delhi (NR)

New Delhi, Jul 17: A senior official from the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) has conveyed his displeasure to the Australian High Commission here and also expressed the Indian government's concern about the latest developments, within a few hours after the dramatic development in Brisbane.

MEA spokesman Navtej Sarna told newspersons here, on Monday July 16 evening, that India has expressed its concern to Australia over the cancellation of Mohammed Haneef's visa and his continued detention after getting bail. It has urged Canberra that "Haneef should be treated fairly and justly under the Australian law." Our anxiety has been conveyed to the Australian High Commission here, stated Sarna.

The Indian government is puzzled and angry over the conduct of Australian authorities which had initially impressed upon the Indian side that Haneef was involved in "assisting a terrorist organization." Based on this information the Indian security agencies had even extended assistance from its side to help investigations by reportedly providing the Australian authorities with details of the money remittances he had made to his family members in Bangalore.

However last Friday, July 13 when the Australian authorities charged Dr Haneef, there was no mention of his involvement in "assisting terrorist organization," as was given to understand to the Indians. And now a new charge was being leveled against Haneef, and in Sarna's words he was charged with "intentionally providing SIM card to a terrorist organization under the relevant Section of the Australian Criminal Code."

However, that was fortunately not convincing enough for the court to deny bail to Haneef which was granted on Monday. The Indian Government had extended all help to Haneef's family to arrange legal assistance in his bail plea. But the latest sudden move thereafter by the Australian Minister for Immigration Affairs to retract his work visa has disappointed and angered the Indian side.

A normal visa has been granted to for the purpose of detaining him, and he is kept under detention on the plea that he had failed the "character test" on account of his association with "someone else or with a group or organization" whom the Australian Immigration authorities  reasonably suspect of  having involved in criminal conduct.

This latest development is what is said to be the trigger point for the Indian government to express its anxiety to the Australian High Commission here.

Indian government officials find it amazing that the Australian side took so many days to revoke the work visa.  "If he was reckless in giving his British SIM card while he was still in Britain, it could at best be a violation of British law in Britain and does not constitute any violation of Australian law," said sources.

The Indian High Commissioner in Canberra however reported that Dr. Haneef was in "good health" after getting consular access to meet the doctor.   However the same cannot be said of another Indian Sabeel Ahmed in London, as he has not got similar access to the Indian envoy there.  

Earlier Headlines:

Australian govt harassing my husband - Firdous Haneef

Exclusive pics by Aakash Polali - Daijiworld Media Network Bangalore

BANGALORE, Jul 16: Wife of Mohammed Haneef, the Indian doctor charged with aiding terror organisations in the failed UK terror plot, on Monday hit out at the Australian Government, accusing it of "harassing" her husband and "somehow trying to detain him".

Reacting to Australian authorities invoking immigration laws to detain Haneef, shortly after a court granted him bail in connection with the failed UK terror plot, Firdous termed the Government's move as "shocking" and "unfair".

"Whatever the Australian Government has done is completely unfair. I think they are harassing my husband by doing this," Firdous said.

Firdous said she does not know why the Australian government did so "because my husband is innocent and everyone knows that...entire world knows that he is innocent".

If the Australian Government had to cancel his visa, why did they not do it when he was charged on Friday, she asked. "Somehow, they want to detain my husband".

She appealed to the External Affairs Ministry to look into the matter and "somehow get my husband back".

According to her, the charge against Haneef is "baseless" and the Centre has to help as an Indian citizen is getting harassed by Australian Government. 


Australia Halts Haneef's Bail Release - Cancel Visa


SYDNEY, Jul 16: The Australian government stopped Dr. Mohamed Haneef on Monday from being released on bail on terrorism charges linked to British car bombings by cancelling his visa and ordering him into an immigration detention centre.   

Haneef, 27, has been in custody since July 2 but was only charged on Saturday, sparking criticism by civil rights groups of his 12-day detention without charge.   

Australian Federal Police (AFP) have charged Haneef with 'providing support to a terrorist organisation' because he left his mobile phone SIM card with his second cousin, one of those linked to the attacks in London and Glasgow.   

Two car bombs primed to explode in London''s theatre and nightclub district were discovered early on June 29. The following day a jeep crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport and burst into flames.   

Two people in Britain have also been charged in relation to the attacks. All but one of the eight original suspects are medics from the Middle East or India. Australian Prime Minister John Howard has defended anti-terrorism laws which allowed Haneef to be detained for 12 days before being charged, saying the laws are essential to protect Australian citizens.   

An Australian court magistrate on Monday granted Haneef A$10,000 (US$8,700) bail, saying he had no known links to a terrorist organisation and that police were not alleging that his SIM card had been used in relation to the British terror plot.  Haneef''s barrister Stephen Keim argued for his release, saying the case against Haneef was 'extremely weak'.   


But within hours the Australian government stopped Haneef''s bail release by cancelling his visa and ordering him placed in Sydney''s Villawood immigration detention centre.   

"I reasonably suspect that he has or has had an association with persons engaged in criminal activity, criminal conduct, namely terrorism in the UK,"  Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said at a news conference in Canberra.   

Andrews said Haneef, who worked at a hospital on Australia''s tourist Gold Coast city, had failed a character test and he had used his powers under migration law to cancel his visa. Australia's immigration laws give the minister the power to cancel or stop a visa if a person fails a 'character test' or is reasonably suspected of being involved in criminal conduct.   

Andrews said cancelling Haneef's visa was unrelated to whether Haneef would receive a fair trial. "This is unrelated to the question of proceedings in the criminal court in Brisbane," Andrews said. "This is a direct responsibility set out in the migration act, this is not the first person, indeed, whose visa has been cancelled."   

Andrews refused to answer questions on whether his decision was a rebuttal of the magistrate's bail decision. "The magistrate in Brisbane has a set of responsibilities which she has carried out and I'm making no comment whatsoever on the magistrate or any decision made by the magistrate," he said.   

Haneef''s case was adjourned to August 31. Haneef will now be held in immigration detention until his trial. He will then be deported if he is acquitted of any crime, or once he has completed any sentence.

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Comment on this article

  • Syed Ahmed, Dammam / Mangalore

    Fri, Jul 20 2007

    Anyone who does a mistake or a blunder has to pay the price but it all depends on the attitude and mentality of the investigating / handling agency. This doctor from Bangalore made a mistake / blunder by giving away the mobile chip to wrong persons and trying to travel back to India, on a one way ticket. Even though the Australian court granted the bail to him, the immigration dept is trying to prove that they are more powerful than the courts.

    In this context I would like to mention that the attitude of the Australian govt is well established. It is a War criminal and War monger nation, who joined with America in the invasion of Iraq on the wrong notion of WMD. Now it is proved that no WMD is found in Iraq and Americans are proved to be great liars. They could not find out the truth when they are having all the sophisticated and well advanced equipments of the world.

    They did not want to do that because their intention was entirely different. They invaded Iraq for OIL only. A week ago Australian govt admitted that they are in Iraq for OIL only ( source Al Jazeera English TV news). So what else can be expected from such war criminal nations ?.

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  • A.D'Cunha, India

    Thu, Jul 19 2007

    I am doubtful as to the Australian government treating this individual fairy and justly. For that matter any Indian anywhere in the globe if they are innocent or guilty. With regard to Haneef's case I believe Australian authorities will make any "unjust actions" as "justified" and they will not in my opinion will listen to the Indian government.

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  • K. S. Mayya, Mangalore/South Korea

    Wed, Jul 18 2007

    I am convinced that Haneef is innocent. His SIM card was misused although he should have been a bit careful especially considering a precedent. Australia due to its geographical location knew that unless they take proactive steps, they will always be irrelavant in world affairs. How else would you justify Australian troops in Iraq?

    I am sure they would have loved it if their island floated through the pacific and somehow landed very close to America. They don't like to identify themselves with the countries in their vicinity. Such mindset coupled with a "show" to the world that Australia is serious about its war on terror would only explain Haneef's illegal detention.

    Most importantly, Australian government has a proven record with state sponsored racism and Haneef's case is not the first time Australia has illegally detained a non-"Australian"(???). Indian Government has rightly expressed its anger against this act of thier immigration minister.

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