Accessibility links

Review of Botched Case Calls for Overhaul of Australian Terror Laws


An official inquiry has found that Australian police had no evidence to charge an Indian doctor over suspected links to a terrorist plot in Britain. Dr. Mohamed Haneef was arrested in Brisbane in July 2007 and eventually was released after a bungled police investigation.

Haneef was detained after his mobile phone SIM card was found on one of the suspects blamed for a failed car bombing at Scotland's Glasgow airport in July 2007.

The Indian doctor, who worked for a hospital in the northern Australian state of Queensland, was charged with supporting a terrorist organization. He was accused of having links to the militants blamed for the U.K. plots but the case against him quickly collapsed.

The charges against him were dropped, but the government canceled the doctor's work visa, forcing him to return to his home in India.

The government ordered a judicial inquiry into his arrest last year. It found that Haneef should never have been charged and called for reforms to the way that Australian police and immigration officials operate.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland says the country's anti-terror laws will be reviewed in the wake of the Haneef case.

"Mistakes were made from officer level to the highest levels," he said. "Everyone must accept responsibility to that. Indeed, Australian Federal Police in their own submission to the report - and certainly noted in the report - acknowledges that things could have been done more effectively and, indeed, has made recommendations themselves as to how these things might be improved in the future."

The inquiry, headed by retired state judge John Clarke, cleared Australia's former conservative government of wrongdoing. It said the arrest of the young Indian doctor was not a politically motivated attempt to capitalize on community concerns about extremism.

The Clark report stresses that Haneef had no involvement in the failed attack on Glasgow airport.

He now lives in the United Arab Emirates. His lawyer has said Haneef has yet to decide whether to lodge a claim for compensation, but believes the least his client deserves is an apology from Australian authorities.

XS
SM
MD
LG