Melbourne, Jan 7: Former Indian-born terrorism suspect Mohamed Haneef believes that the Australian Government headed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd might compensate him to "build bridges" following his arrest ordeal last year.
Looking relaxed and with short-cropped hair, Dr Haneef yesterday spoke of the damage his detention had caused his career and reputation, during a press conference in Bangalore following his return from Mecca. "I'm hopeful of this because the damages that have been done to my career, my job, my aspirations, and my reputation is far too much ... they might try to build up some bridges by compensating me," he said.
Dr. Haneef was arrested while working at the Gold Coast Hospital on July 2 last year and charged 12 days later with supporting a terrorism organisation after his SIM card was linked to a failed bombing of Glasgow airport.
The charges were dropped a fortnight later, but then immigration minister Kevin Andrews had already revoked Dr Haneef's work visa.
The full bench of the Federal Court last month upheld a judge's earlier decision to reinstate his visa, clearing the way for Dr Haneef to return to Australia.
Dr Haneef said he was yet to decide whether he would return, adding his family wanted assurances he would be safe.
"They need a firm reassurance from the authorities and Australian Federal Police that there wouldn't be any harm to me ... when I go back there. I have to get my (medical) registration and things sorted out as well and I have to get a job offer from the hospital, but I still have some other options," The Australian quoted Haneef, as saying.
Meanwhile, Haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo, has said that his client is waiting for the date of an inquiry into his case before deciding his next move.
Russo, who is presently in Sicily on holiday, said he expected the present Government to do right by Dr. Haneef.