Indian-origin Dr. Mohamed Haneef eyeing huge payout from Oz govt. over 2007 ordeal

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Melbourne, Dec 18(ANI): Mohamed Haneef, the Indian-origin doctor who was arrested over suspicion of involvement in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport terrorist attack, is seeking "significant" compensation from the Australian government.

According to News.com.au, the compensation claim is likely to rival the 2.6 million dollars paid to Cornelia Rau, who was unlawfully detained for a period of ten months in 2004 and 2005 as a suspected illegal immigrant.

On July 2, 2007, Dr. Haneef was boarding a plane at Brisbane Airport, destined for India, when he was detained by Australian Federal Police and placed into custody.

Police alleged that he was fleeing to India on a one-way ticket, but he argued that he was returning home to see his ill infant daughter.

He was held for 12 days without charge, causing great public outcry in Australia and India, before being charged with giving support to a terrorist organization when police wrongly concluded that his mobile phone SIM card linked him to the plot to blow up the airport.

The charges were dropped on July 27 after prosecutors admitted mishandling the case, and he was cleared of any involvement by an independent inquiry.

However, by that time the government had cancelled his visa, and he was forced to return to India.

The 31-year-old, who was working at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland when he was arrested, is seeking damages for lost earnings, the interruption to his medical career, damage to his reputation and emotional stress.

He is hopeful that the outcome of the mediation "will draw a line under what has been a very regrettable incident for Australia's long held reputation as a great place for skilled people from overseas to live and work."

"Coming back to Australia represents a very important step for me and for my family ... and I'm hopeful that the upcoming mediation will be an opportunity to resolve this matter and give my family and me a chance to move forward," Dr. Haneef said. (ANI)

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