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Australian Police Drop Request to Extend Detention of Indian Doctor


Australian police have dropped a request to extend the detention of an Indian doctor, held since July 2 on suspicion of involvement in the foiled British bomb attacks.

The move Friday, means police have 12 hours to question Mohammad Haneef before releasing or charging him.

The newspaper The Australian says Friday that Australian police have found no evidence to charge Haneef. Police had originally said they would ask a Brisbane magistrate for 72 more hours to search files seized from Mohammad Haneef's home.

The Australian quotes government documents as saying Haneef's release would hurt police efforts to monitor his movements and communications.

Also Friday, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said (on local radio) he is happy with Australia's counterterrorism laws, which enable a judge to detain suspects without charge. Mr. Howard says he sponsored the legislation.

Haneef is a cousin of two suspects, the brothers Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed, now held in Britain for last month's failed car bomb attacks in London and Glasgow. Haneef shared a house in Liverpool - between London and Glasgow - with them for about two years.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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