Melbourne, Jan 4: Lawyer for Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef has said that his client wants to return to Australia to attend a full judicial inquiry into his case. Peter Russo said that he would speak to Dr Haneef today to discuss his future after his return home to Bangalore, from the annual Muslim holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
Russo said Haneef had already indicated that he wanted to attend the inquiry and was keen to find out when it would be held. He said his client had also sought re-registration from the Medical Board of Queensland so that he can work again in the Gold Coast Hospital. "We are really in a holding pattern until the government gives us an indication to when the inquiry will be held," Russo said.
"I think it is really important he is back here when the inquiry is on - whether that is working back here or he just comes back for the inquiry," he added. Russo said the Indian national was still keen to build a life for his family in Australia and had not yet looked at other countries for work.
"I've sent a letter to the Gold Coast Hospital saying he is interested in a job. I think things will become a little more definite soon," Russo said.
Queensland Health said that it would consider any application from Dr Haneef to be employed in Queensland. He must first obtain a work visa from the federal government and appropriate registration from the Medical Board of Queensland. The federal government has not yet given a date for the inquiry, The Australian reported.
Russo also said that his client would not consider legal action against the federal government until after the results of the inquiry are released. "The inquiry will probably impact on whether he has a claim against the federal government," he said.
Dr Haneef, a registrar at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested and charged in July 2007 in connection with the Glasgow terror attacks and later deported by the Howard Government, despite the charges being dropped for lack of evidence.
He was arrested at Brisbane Airport on July 2, shortly after the failed UK terrorist plot, but a charge of providing support to terrorism was dropped later. The charges were dropped less than two weeks later after Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions announced there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction.
Dr Haneef has spent most of the past five months at his home in Bangalore, but Russo has repeatedly said that he wants to return to work on the Gold Coast.