"He was very pleased to hear the news," Russo said.

 

Traumatic times

 

Haneef was arrested at Brisbane airport on July 2 - just days after the failed car bombings in London and Glasgow - as he waited to board a flight to India.

  

Australian authorities detained him for 12 days before charging him with providing support to a terrorist organisation for giving a mobile phone SIM card to a cousin accused of involvement in the attacks.

  

When charges were dropped two weeks later due to a lack of evidence, Kevin Andrews, the immigration minister at the time, cancelled Haneef's working visa on character grounds, forcing the doctor to return to India.

  

In August, a judge in Brisbane found that Andrews had made a "jurisdictional error" and that Haneef's visa could be reinstated.

  

Russo said it was now up to Evans, the new immigration minister, who has the power to annul any visa, to decide whether to cancel Haneef's visa on different grounds.

  

"One would hope that maybe there would be a change of heart or maybe a more compassionate way of dealing with what happened to Mohamed," he said.

 

Return uncertain

  

Despite the win, Russo said it was still not clear whether Haneef would return from Bangalore, where he has been living for the past five months.

  

"It's always been Mohamed's wish to come back but he's also concerned about what his wife wants," he said.

  

"I don't think he wants to put himself in a position where she would have to go through the trauma she went through the first time he was detained."

  

Questions over whether Haneef still had a job to return to at the Gold Coast hospital , were still being resolved but Anna Blight, the Queensland premier, said she would welcome the return of the foreign doctor.