Oz Police withheld facts to keep Haneef in custody

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Melbourne, June 19 : The Australian Federal Police withheld key pieces of evidence that would have helped exonerate Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef.

Instead the AFP presented courts and prosecutors with information that was selective and riddled with factual inaccuracies.

Dr Haneef's lawyer, Stephen Keim SC, said he and his colleagues were "startled" by the number of factual inaccuracies they encountered when compiling the submission.

"Every major attempt by government agencies to place known facts on the record appeared fraught with error," The Australian quoted Keim, as saying.

Keim alleged that, through factual distortions and inaccuracies, police conveyed a blinkered picture of Dr Haneef's connection to the attacks.

He said this skewed the perspectives of the magistrates responsible for deciding how long the Indian doctor should be detained.

Meanwhile, Dr Haneef declined to comment on revelations in The Australian on Wednesday that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet met Immigration Department officials less than 48 hours after his arrest.

Dr Haneef, speaking from his home in Bangalore last night, said the inquiry-lacked teeth.

"My lawyer stated they should have coercive powers to get the full advantage of this inquiry. The inquiry doesn't have coercive powers," he said.

Dr Haneef said he hoped the inquiry would fully explain the reasons for his arrest, detention and the cancellation of his visa but he did not expect an apology from Australian authorities.

He said that he was enjoying spending time with his family at his home in Bangalore but would "definitely consider" returning to Australia to work at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland.

Dr Haneef was arrested at Brisbane International Airport as he tried to board a plane to India on July 2 after police linked his mobile phone SIM card to botched terror attacks in Britain.

His visa was cancelled by then Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews just hours after a Brisbane magistrate granted him bail on a single terror charge on July 16.

The case collapsed for lack of evidence and is now the subject of a government-ordered inquiry headed by retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke SC.

ANI

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