Australia extends Haneef detention

Immigration laws used to hold UK bomb suspect after magistrate grants him bail.

    Haneef was earlier granted bail by a Brisbane magistrate [GALLO/GETTY]
     

    "What I have declared is that I reasonably suspect that he has, or has had, an association with persons engaged in criminal activity, namely terrorism, in the UK," Andrews said.

    He added: "I am satisfied that the cancellation is in the national interest."

     

    "I am satisfied that the cancellation is in the national interest"

    Kevin Andrews, Australian immigration minister

    Andrews said Haneef will be detained despite the bail granted earlier on Monday.

     

    Police charged Haneef with "recklessly" supporting a terrorist group in the attacks in London and Glasgow, saying he had given a mobile phone SIM card to those involved in the attacks.

     

    But his lawyer says the prosecution's case is "extremely weak".

     

    Under the bail conditions, Haneef would have been barred from leaving Australia and had to report to police three days a week until he appears before the court on August 31.

     

    If convicted, he could be jailed for a maximum of 15 years.

     

    'No clear link'

     

    Haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo, says the
    case against his client is weak [AFP]

    Prosecutors argued that Haneef should remain behind bars, citing tough anti-terror laws which allow bail only in exceptional circumstances.

     

    Setting bail, magistrate Jacqui Payne said police had failed to uncover a clear link between Haneef and a terrorist organisation.

     

    She said there was no specific allegation that the mobile phone SIM card had been used in the attack plot.

     

    Among her reasons for granting bail, Payne said Haneef's SIM card had not been used in relation to the attempted bombings in London and Glasgow last month.

     

    She also cited Haneef's good employment record, his lack of a criminal history and the fact that he was employed as a doctor.

     

    Two car bombs primed to explode in London's theatre and nightclub district were discovered early on June 29.

     

    The following day a jeep crashed into the terminal building at Glasgow airport and burst into flames.

     

    Open court

     

    Three people, including Haneef, have so far been charged in connection with the attempted bomb attacks.

     

    All but one of the eight original suspects are medical practitioners from the Middle East or India.

     

    Haneef's 12-day detention before being charged sparked criticism by civil rights groups.

     

    Haneef's family has also strongly protested his innocence, with his wife Firdous calling the charge "senseless" and appealing to Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, for help.

     

    Mohammed Shoaib, Haneef's younger brother, told Australian national radio the doctor handed the SIM card to a known person "because there was free talk-time on the card and he didn't want to waste that".

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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