Haneef case cost Oz exchequer 8 mn dollars

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Melbourne, May 26: Investigations into the bungled Mohammed Haneef terrorism-support case has cost the Australian exchequer 8.2 million dollars so far. According to a news.com.au report, the hefty bill for the investigation dubbed Operation Rain, which relates to the terrorist bombings and planned attacks in London and Glasgow in July last year, is being justified as an "obligation" to protect Australia from similar attacks.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mike Keelty said less than half of the total amount was spent on the Haneef investigation. "The sum of 3.2 million Australian dollars was spent on the investigation of Dr Haneef and related inquiries. Over five million Australian dollars is attributable to the investigation of other persons of whom I will not be commenting due to operational sensitivities," Commissioner Keelty told a Senate hearing.

Dr Haneef was charged with supporting terrorism, but the charges were dropped after the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) announced that the evidence against Haneef was unlikely to win a conviction.

Dr Haneef was detained at Brisbane airport in the days after the Glasgow attack. He was kept in detention by immigration officials in July 2007 even after the case against him collapsed, on the orders of former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.

Following a federal court decision, Dr Haneef was released and returned voluntarily to India. The case is the subject of a review, ordered by the Rudd government, by former NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke.

At its peak, Operation Rain involved 249 AFP officers, 225 Queensland police, 12 officers from the Attorney-General's department, 54 WA police, 40 NSW police, six Customs officers, two NT police, one Tasmanian officer, six translators, four other law enforcement agencies and two UK police posted to Australia.

ANI

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