Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Haneef lawyers want more powers in probe

Lawyers acting for Mohamed Haneef want an inquiry investigating the failed terrorism case against him to be given the powers of a royal commission.

Retired NSW Supreme Court judge John Clarke, who is heading the inquiry, has said much of the evidence presented to him cannot be made public.

Dr Haneef was arrested in Brisbane last year over suspected links to botched terror attacks in Britain and detained for 12 days.

Despite the case against him collapsing amid accusations of bungling by the authorities, the previous Howard government cancelled the doctor's visa.

Dr Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson said the Rudd government had promised a full judicial inquiry.

"Whatever this inquiry is, it is not judicial and it is not open," he said.

"It is a very convenient result for the Australian agencies, especially the AFP (Australian Federal Police) and DIAC, (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) in that they cannot be made accountable to the Australian public because of an alleged fear of offending a foreign government.

"If (Attorney-General) Mr (Robert) McClelland sits by and allows what was to be a full judicial inquiry become a disempowered and fully secret inquiry, his credibility as an attorney-general who can stand up for the rule of law will be severely damaged."

The AFP had a track record of failing to meet their legal obligations, Mr Hodgson said.

It had failed to provide Dr Haneef with a lawyer when requested and only handed over police interview transcripts last week, he said.

Updated 10:41am (AEST)

Haneef secrecy puts inquiry into 'impossible position'

Lawyers for Dr Mohamed Haneef says the inquiry into their client's arrest has no credibility if key details are kept secret.

Dr Haneef's lawyer Rod Hodgson says there is no way to test the accuracy of the secret evidence.

"Mr Clarke's statement makes it clear that he's in an almost impossible position," he said.

"He's unable to resist pressure from agencies that have vested interests in avoiding public scrutiny.

He said these difficulties could be avoided if the Attorney-General were to vest the Clarke inquiry with Royal Commission powers.

"This affair concerns human rights and it concerns our national security," he said.

"The horse flu inquiry was given Royal Commission powers - our national security and our human rights cannot be any less important than the health of our horse industry."


Haneef case evidence 'to remain secret'
The retired judge who is investigating the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef says much of the evidence he has received will have to remain secret.

AFP denied lawyer to Haneef: report

Mohamed Haneef's lawyers say the Australian Federal Police (AFP) repeatedly denied their client's request for a lawyer to be present during his first interview.

Bill: Independent reviewer for terrorism laws
Two Liberal Senators have introduced a private member's bill calling for an independent reviewer of terrorism laws.

Thomas to appeal retrial order
Lawyers for Victorian man Jack Thomas will appeal to the High Court against a decision to retry him on terrorism related charges.

Court orders retrial for Jack Thomas
The Court of Appeal has ordered that Victorian man Jack Thomas must be retried on terrorism-related charges.

Push for overhaul of laws on terrorism
In a paper in Judicial Review he said that the National Security Information Act "gives the appearance of having been drafted by persons who have little knowledge of the function and processes of a criminal trial".

Court denies Lodhi leave to appeal

Lodhi claimed the trial did not establish that he had actually decided to carry out a terrorist attack.

Haneef's lawyer says inquiry is weak
The inquiry into Australian authorities' handling of the Mohamed Haneef case needs stronger powers to avoid becoming a "toothless tiger", the former terror suspect's lawyer says.

Hicks media gag order ends
As part of the deal, he was also banned from speaking to the media after his release in December 2007.

Terror trial halted over prison conditions
A Supreme Court judge has put a Melbourne terrorism trial on hold and ordered Corrections Victoria to change prison conditions of the 12 accused men

ASIO, police don't trust each other, report finds
A LACK of trust between the Australian Federal Police and ASIO has hindered co-operation between the anti-terrorism agencies, a report commissioned after the collapsed prosecution of the Sydney doctor Izhar ul-Haque has found.

Secret policemen's bill: $7.5m
Mr McClelland separately ruled out compensating or apologising to the Sydney medical student Izhar Ul-Haque, who a Supreme Court judge said had been kidnapped by ASIO officers. The conduct of ASIO in the case of Mr ul-Haque, who was cleared of terrorism charges, is being reviewed by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Ian Carnell.

Faheem Lodhi - another non-terrorist jailed under Australia's 'anti-terror' laws? Jack Thomas, a non-terrorist, has been jailed under Australia's anti-terror laws. Now Faheem Lodhi has been convicted under the terror laws on flimsy, circumstantial evidence. It is likely he is another non-terrorist jailed for political purposes under the terror laws.

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