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Haneef was charged wrongly, Australia says

Haneef was charged wrongly, Australia says
AFP
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First Published: Tue, Dec 23 2008. 11 06 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Dec 23 2008. 11 06 PM IST
Sydney / Melbourne: The Australian government admitted on Tuesday that mistakes were made at the highest level when it wrongfully charged an Indian doctor over a botched British terror plot and forced him to leave the country.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland said changes would be made to Australia’s anti-terrorism laws after a report into the treatment of Mohamed Haneef found he was wrongly charged in connection with failed terror attacks in London and Glasgow in 2007.
Retired judge John Clarke’s report on the bungled case, commissioned by McClelland in March, found there was insufficient evidence to charge Haneef and that the cancellation of his visa should have been deferred.
Following a tip off from British authorities, federal police arrested Haneef in July 2007 as he tried to leave Brisbane airport for India. He was held for almost two weeks without charge. He was later accused of having links to the militants responsible for the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow, but the case against him quickly collapsed.
By then, the government had cancelled Haneef’s visa and he was forced to return to India.
Haneef, who now works in Dubai, was quoted by Australian agency AAP as saying he held no grudge against the Australian government but an apology?“would?go?very?handy”.
PTI contributed to this story.
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First Published: Tue, Dec 23 2008. 11 06 PM IST