Melbourne, Jan.8: Peter Russo, the lawyer representing former terror suspect Dr. Mohamed Haneef has called on the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to "get their act together" so that his client can return to Australia.
Pushing for the AFP to declare their intentions, Russo said the AFP's ongoing investigation of Dr. Haneef has kept the Bangalore-based Indian national in a "holding pattern". Russo claimed that Haneef, a former Gold Coast Hospital doctor, is reluctant to return to Australia until he receives a full clearance from the AFP. "They're really the ones holding the whole matter up because of their innuendo and suspicion that they've created by saying things like he (Dr Haneef) is still under investigation," The Age quoted Russo as saying from Sicily where he's holidaying.
"We're really stuck in a holding pattern. It's up to AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty and his crew to get their act together so we can move the matter forward."
Dr Haneef was arrested in Brisbane on July 2 last year, held in a police watchhouse and charged 12 days later with supporting a terrorist organisation after his SIM card was linked to the failed 2007 car bombings at Glasgow airport in the United Kingdom.
He was later taken to the Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre in Brisbane's west, although the charges against him were dropped a fortnight later.
By then, former Immigration Minister, Kevin Andrews, had cancelled his work visa, forcing him to return to Bangalore. Last month, a full bench of the Federal Court upheld a judge's earlier decision to reinstate Haneef's work visa, clearing the way for his to return to Australia.
Haneef said he has yet to decide whether he'd return, adding his family wanted assurances that he would be safe.
Haneef held a press conference in India at the weekend during which he said he hoped the Rudd government would consider compensating him.