Detained Indian doctor back home

Haneef says Australian police did not know what to ask him beyond routine queries.

    Haneef is now back with his wife Firdous and their one-month-old daughter in Bangalore [EPA]

    "It is a tremendous amount of trauma that I have gone through, that I have never imagined in my life," he told the 60 Minutes programme on Australia's Channel Nine TV.
    "People need to be detained, but not [for] such a long period."
    'Assuming things'
    Haneef, whose second cousin Kafeel Ahmed was reportedly involved in last month's failed attack on Glasgow airport, was detained on July 2 as he attempted to leave Brisbane on the way to India.
    Haneef said while he understood why he had been questioned, he had done nothing wrong.
    He said: "I don't mean to harm anyone by words, how can I harm somebody with my activities, that is what I mean to say."
    He said Australian investigators seemed unsure of what to question him about beyond routine queries.
    Haneef said the authorities asked him about his bank statements, where he had lived, and whether he had ever undergone terror training in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
    "It's clear from my records, even when they were interrogating me it wasn't clear to them what they were asking me and what they wanted me to tell," he said.
    "They were just ... getting bits and pieces of information and just
    assuming things."
    Minister still suspicious
    But Kevin Andrews, the immigration minister, said Haneef's rapid departure after his release only made him look more suspicious.
    "If anything, that actually heightens rather than lessens my suspicion," he said.
    Andrews, who earlier this month cancelled Haneef's visa on character grounds, insisted he would not reinstate his work permit.
    He said: "Nothing has changed in terms of the circumstances in which I had to make a decision concerning Dr Haneef."
    Andrews said he would release confidential police files on which his decision was based, saying: "I have had to defend this matter with one arm tied behind my back because of protected information."
    'Beyond bizarre'
    Haneef's lawyers described Andrews' latest comments as "beyond bizarre".
    Peter Russo said: "What we can't understand is how the minister can cling to a view that a man who had been detained for nearly a month on charges that proved to be baseless can continue to smear his good name through an executive decision based on secret material.

    Haneef's lawyers have lodged an application for his work visa to be restored  [AFP]

    "It will make overseas people very suspicious about living and working in Australia and this negative perception will take decades to erase."
    Haneef's lawyers have already lodged an application for his work visa to be restored and the doctor said he would return if allowed.
    "Even after I go back to India, I might think of coming back here," Haneef said.
    "It's just a matter of my visa being sorted out."
    Calls have mounted for an inquiry into Haneef's case after Australian police were described as bumbling "Keystone Cops" for their handling of the investigation.
    While prosecutors have admitted presenting Haneef's bail hearing with incorrect information, Mick Keelty, an Australian policeman, said British police had at one stage misinformed local investigators.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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