Blame game over Dr Haneef "terrorism case" breaks out Down Under

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Sydney, Oct 24 : The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have reportedly passed the obligation of charging Dr Mohamed Haneef with terrorism on to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP).

In a submission to the Clarke inquiry into the case, the AFP said that while the decision to charge Dr Haneef ultimately rested with it, the CDPP's legal advice was "a fundamental factor" in the decision-making process to charge Dr Haneef.

The police submission further said the decision to drop the charge against Dr Haneef 11 days later was also taken by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

"Prior to the receipt of the advice from the CDPP, the AFP was of the view that there was not enough evidence to charge," The Age quoted the AFP as saying.

But, the AFP's submission contrasts with the CDPP's submission made to the inquiry in August, which had that the police had pressured a prosecutor for reassurance that Dr Haneef could be charged.

The key period under dispute is between July 12 last year, when the AFP started briefing Commonwealth prosecutors on possible charges, and July 14, when Dr Haneef was charged. The police submission had conceded that on July 12, the AFP incorrectly told the prosecutors that a mobile phone SIM card belonging to Dr Haneef was found in the possession of Kafeel Ahmed, who was arrested at the site of a failed terrorist attack at Glasgow airport. But it said they issued a correction the next day after receiving fresh information from the British police that the card was in the possession of another man.

They say the updated advice was included in a 49-page written brief that Commonwealth prosecutors studied for several hours on July 13, but that the prosecutors still advised that there was sufficient evidence to charge Dr Haneef.

And, Dr Haneef was charged the next day.

The police submission said that the prosecutors made two incorrect statements to the court when charging Dr Haneef, including the whereabouts of Dr Haneef's SIM card. They said that they were not in court, and, so, were not in an immediate position to correct the prosecutors, and only found out about the incorrect statements through the media.

ANI

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