Mohamed Haneef hopes for 'clean slate' inquiry

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Melbourne, Mar 17: Former terror suspect Mohamed Haneef is hoping to be given a 'clean slate' by the judicial inquiry in Australia so that he can get on with his life. The federal government last week appointed former New South Wales Supreme Court judge John Clarke to head the inquiry into the botched terrorism case, and report to it by September 30.

Dr Haneef, a former registrar at Gold Coast Hospital, was charged with recklessly providing support to a terrorist organisation for giving his mobile phone SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed, one of the men accused of last year's foiled UK bomb attacks. The charge was later dropped as prosecutors admitted bungling the case and conceded there was insufficient evidence.

Speaking by telephone link from India at the Brisbane office of law firm Maurice Blackburn, Dr Haneef said he was pleased there would be an inquiry.
"I hope this inquiry ... (will) give me a clean slate out of this issue," Dr Haneef said. Dr Haneef said he hoped the inquiry would also lead to changes to federal terrorism laws. Dr Haneef said he had suffered as a result of his ordeal but said he did not need an apology from the federal government or the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

However, he confirmed he would seek compensation. "I've lost my earnings from past, and even some of my future earnings," Dr Haneef said. According to The Age, Dr. Haneef said he would co-operate with the inquiry but was unsure whether his wife would allow him to return to Australia. Dr Haneef said the Gold Coast Hospital had offered to take him back but he was "exploring the options".

Despite his ordeal, he urged other overseas-trained doctors to consider working in Australia, describing the country as a "very nice place" with impressive hospitals. "I would say: 'Go for it'," Dr Haneef said.

ANI

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