Support on the way for Haneef Print E-mail
Saturday, 21 July 2007


A relative of Mohamed Haneef will arrive in Brisbane tonight to provide support for the terrorism suspect and meet with his legal team.


Imran Siddiqui, a cousin of Haneef's wife Firdous Arshiya, was due to arrive on a flight from India, after the Immigration Department this week granted him a visa following security checks.


Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) was today still refusing to comment on apparent flaws in the case presented in court against Haneef, 27.


It was alleged by prosecutors in court a week ago that the Gold Coast-based doctor had given his mobile phone SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed when he left the UK last July.


The court was told Sabeel had then passed the card on to his brother Kafeel, the driver of a jeep used in a terrorist attack on Glasgow Airport on June 30, and that the card had been found in the wreckage.


However, sources have told several Australian media outlets the SIM card was actually with Sabeel Ahmed in Liverpool at the time of the incident.


An AFP spokeswoman today refused to confirm or deny the reports incorrect information had been given to the court.

"The AFP would not confirm or deny any allegations," the spokeswoman said.


"Because it's before the court it's inappropriate to comment."


Haneef, who is currently being detained in Brisbane's Wolston Correctional Centre, has been in police custody since July 2.

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie today warned the federal government that mishandling of the Haneef case could lead to foreign doctors becoming reluctant to work in Australia.


"If this turns out at the end not to be substantiated, it'll make it very difficult for us to ever recruit overseas-trained doctors again," Mr Beattie told ABC Radio.


"And frankly, we need them."


Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle said the revelation the SIM card had not been found in the jeep at Glasgow Airport showed the federal government's terror laws were open to political abuse.


"The Greens opposed the terror laws when they were introduced because we were concerned that they were so broad that they could be used politically," Senator Nettle told reporters in Sydney.


"That may well be precisely what is happening here."


The AFP was under "immense pressure" from the government to produce charges in the case, leading them to makes "numerous mistakes", she said.


Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network spokesman Waleed Kadous said the Haneef case had sparked fears among members of the Islamic community that they could easily fall foul of anti-terror laws.


"They can imagine being in the same situation as Haneef was in, that they left a SIM card with a relative before leaving the country and then something happens a year later," Dr Kadeef told ABC Radio.


"They can imagine borrowing money from someone and paying the loan back, these are not unusual things."


AAP, 21 July 2007

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