Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another blow to anti-terrorism forces

The Howard government received another setback in its handling of the Mohamed Haneef case yesterday. Haneef is the Indian doctor given the rough Australian anti-terrorism treatment because he is related to some of the hapless UK airport terrorists.

Haneef was released because of an absence of any evidence, then had his work visa cancelled by Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews. He is now back in India, but has challenged the visa issue.

Now the Federal Court has quashed the Immigration Minister's decision to cancel the work visa, apparently on a technicality as Andrews used the wrong criterion when judging Dr Haneef's character.

It was dodgy stuff from the start, but Howard desperately wanted a win on terrorism. Well you know how it is. Andrews said he would appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court, declaring he stood by his decision, which he had made "in the national interest".

Throughout Andrews has claimed the visa decision was made on evidence he cannot reveal. That is handy. Hannef’s lawyer aren’t allowed to see the evidence, it hasn’t be presented to any court. Just more of the same lame justifications to keep alive a dead issue.


Just to show that the Australian Federal Police don’t have a monopoly on selective leaks Haneef’s lawyers have released the transcript of an all-night interview with police.

It shows clearly that Dr Haneef disagreed with parts of the translation into English from Urdu and the police interpretation of the discussion with his brother that occurred on the day he planned to leave Australia.

Andrews used highly selective fragments of the police interview that placed Dr Haneef in the worst possible light. He concentrated on a passage where Haneef's younger brother, Shuaib, had advised the doctor to tell his hospital that he was leaving because he had a new daughter and "tell them nothing else".

The "tell them nothing else" has been used as proof of guilt. Andrews said yesterday the public release of the police interview did not change his reasons for revoking Haneef's visa late last month.


selva said...

All I want to do is go for three weeks to visit my brother in American visa. I know you really hate illegal immigrants and all - although I can't think why since you incarcerate them all in detention camps and keep them safely out of sight. This much paperwork could take me a lifetime to put together. Maybe I should take my tourist dollars somewhere else where it’s far more exciting and probably easier to get in - like Australia or Iraq.

Cart said...

selva, fortunately I am Australian/Canadian. Currently back in Australia.
I do like the US and the people, but they have to live under increasingly draconian laws too.
Perhaps when te current paranoid regime has gone life will get easier for us all to visit the US.