Weakness in Oz police case to keep Haneef in detention exposed

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Melbourne, May 16 : Australian Federal Police (AFP) considered placing Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef on a control order or in preventative detention just three days after he was arrested, but were advised there was insufficient information to support their move.

Documents obtained by the Indian-born doctor's legal team under freedom of information laws show that the AFP was exploring contingency plans to detain Dr Haneef in immediately after his arrest on July 2, 2007.

They also show Immigration officials and the AFP were considering the possibility of cancelling Dr Haneef's visa earlier than previously known.

Dr Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson said that the documents revealed an unknown level of collusion between the AFP and Immigration to detain Dr Haneef if the courts freed him.

"It appears the AFP had turned their mind to getting what they wanted ... from a very early point," news.com.au quoted Hodgson, as saying.

One document, dated July 11, refers to a letter from AFP national manager of counter-terrorism Frank Prendergrast to senior Immigration officer Peter White, one of the men responsible for briefing then Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

The letter was delivered to Andrews on the same day. It says: "The letter concerned information to be used by the DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) for the consideration of action under sub-section 501(3) Migration Act. That is, to revoke the visa issued to Dr Haneef."

Dr Haneef, who worked at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested at Brisbane Airport on July 2 after his mobile phone SIM card was linked to failed terror attacks in London and Glasgow.

He was held for 12 days before being charged with providing reckless support to a terror organisation.

Dr Haneef was granted bail on July 16, but his visa was immediately revoked by Andrews, leading to his continued detention. On July 27 the case against him collapsed and the charge was withdrawn.

ANI

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