Haneef wants to attend full judicial inquiry, says lawyer

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Sydney, Jan 4 (UNI) Indian doctor Mohammad Haneef, who was exonerated of terror charges in connection with the failed UK car bombings, wants to return to Australia to attend a full judicial inquiry into his case, his lawyer said.

Mr Peter Russo said he would speak to Dr Haneef today to discuss his future after his return home to Bangalore, India, from the annual Muslim holy pilgrimage to Mecca, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.

''We are really in a holding pattern until the government gives us an indication to when the inquiry will be held,'' Mr Russo said from Italy, where he is holidaying.

Dr Haneef was charged with supporting a terrorism organisation after his sim card was linked to the failed Glasglow airport bombings last year. The charges were late dropped.

But Mr Russo said the former Gold Coast-based doctor had already indicated 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 he can work again on the Gold Coast.

''We are really in a holding pattern until the government gives us an indication to when the inquiry will be held,'' Mr 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.'' A date has not yet been given by the Federal Government.

Mr Russo said the Indian medic was still keen to build a life for his family in Australia and had not yet looked at other countries for work.

''(Investigating other countries) may be something that goes into the mix when we work out what is the best thing to do for him,'' Mr Russo said.

The lawyer said Dr Haneef was re-registering his qualifications with the Medical Board of Queensland.

''I've sent a letter to the Gold Coast Hospital saying he is interested in a job,'' he said.

''I think things will become a little more definite soon.'' Queensland Health said 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 full bench of the Federal Court last month upheld a judge's earlier decision to reinstate Dr Haneef's work visa.

Mr Russo said 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.

''There has been some talk that the government should make a payment to him prior to the inquiry but that did not come from us,'' he added.

UNI XC YA RAI1207

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