Sydney, Oct 13: Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef should never have been charged, Damian Bugg, QC, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, has admitted. A review into the arrest of Mohamed Haneef has concluded that the method of investigation was faulty on several counts and blamed the Australian Federal Police for it.
Dr Haneef was charged with a terrorism-related offence on July 14, but released when the DPP withdrew its charge on July 27.
The review found there were "errors of fact" made during the Australian Federal Police-led investigation.
The review, conducted by an unnamed private lawyer, concluded that the DPP"s office has not properly appreciated the evidence against Dr Haneef, and had not given appropriate advice before he was charged.
"The DPP has learnt from this matter and will take further steps to ensure that advice is provided in accordance with the role of the DPP in situations such as this," Bugg said.
Dr Haneef was charged in July with recklessly assisting a terrorist organisation said to consist of his cousins Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed.
Dr Haneef had left an old SIM card with his cousin Sabeel in Liverpool, England. At first, it was believed the SIM card was found at the scene of the crime. Then it was learnt the card was still in Liverpool.
The review concluded: "That change was not appreciated by the prosecutor at the time."
Bugg said that the DPP is supposed to ask "whether the evidence establishes reasonable prospects of conviction" but the review found "the advice in this case did not address that test".
Peter Russo, Dr Haneef's lawyer, welcomed this confirmation of defence claims from the outset that the police and prosecutors' case was flawed with factual errors.
"The best that can be said is that it is comforting to know the DPP is learning from its mistakes," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Russo, as saying.
Dr Haneef is still fighting to get his Australian visa back. The case would be heard on November 15.