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Australian PM blames AFP, DPP in Haneef Case

By Staff
Google Oneindia News

Melbourne, July 28: An embarrassed Australian Government is trying to shift the blame of labelling Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef a terrorist on to federal police officials and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Prime Minister John Howard said the responsibility for the collapse had to be directed at the Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Damian Bugg.

"Bearing in mind that the detention of the man was undertaken by the police, and not on the direction of the government, and the case was prepared and presented by the DPP, I think that the right thing now is for those two men to explain the reasons,'' he told reporters in Bali.

"I think that the right thing now is for those two men to explain the process and explain the reasons," Howard said.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock also supported Howard and asked Keelty and Bugg to explain where the investigation went wrong, news.com.au reported.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews argued that he acted in the interests of national security in revoking Dr Haneef's work visa, but conceded the evidence used in making the decision is now under review.

He said it was important to remember that much less evidence was required to cancel a work visa than to make terrorism charges stick.

Immigration Minister Andrews in a surprise move had cancelled Haneef's work visa hours after a Brisbane Magistrate granted him bail last Monday, after he was charged under Australia's anti-terrorism laws.

Andrews cancelled Haneef's 457 temporary skills visa on grounds that he failed a character test, the paper reported.

Greens Senator Bob Brown accused the government of trying to exploit Dr Haneef for its own political ends, and said Andrews and Ruddock should resign.

"It is a shocking state of affairs," Senator Brown said. The day after Dr Haneef was detained, Howard warned that the Australians must be constantly aware of the threat of terrorism after the failed bomb plots in Britain to which Indian doctor was linked.

"There are people in our midst who would do us harm and evil if they had the opportunity of doing so," Howard added.


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