Melbourne, Apr.28 : Bureaucrats in Australian capital Canberra and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are promoting the view that former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews' introduced an element of double jeopardy in the case of former terrorism suspect Mohamed Haneef by revoking his visa.
According to some bureaucrats and police officers, Andrews' decision to deport Haneef caught everyone involved with the case by surprise and complicated the joint investigation by the Australian Federal Police and the Queensland Police.
The Age quotes a source as saying that there is now a need for Andrews and his staff to be brought before the court hearing the case to inform it about the reasons for going ahead with a deportation order in such a hurry.
"That spoiled it for the police. It was done without any warning. The police knew that was an option but not that it was to be used so quickly or in such a cavalier fashion," one of the sources said.
According to the officials, Andrews' decision led to Haneef being freed by the courts and then held again on another pretext. It also led to an avalanche of political comment from several ministers, which complicated the investigation further.
"If Dr Haneef had been freed on bail, the police would have kept him under surveillance and gathered any evidence that might be out there," said the source.
Former NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke will head a judicial inquiry into the handling of the case and on Wednesday will set out how the inquiry will work.
Andrews and Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty will give evidence that is likely to be in a session closed to the public.
Attorney-General Robert McClelland has told Judge Clarke to carry out his inquiry in a way that does not jeopardise national security, ongoing terrorism investigations or trials that are still to take place overseas.
The Clarke inquiry will be told that police and officials from Andrews' department gave the minister a list of options, including that of cancelling Dr Haneef's visa and placing him in immigration detention if it were decided that he was a security risk. That measure was to be used only after very careful consideration.
Judge Clarke has been asked to report by September 30. He is expected to produce a public report and a confidential one.