Australia chief prosecutor reviewing case of terror suspect in UK car bomb attempt

[JURIST] Australian Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg [official profile] said Wednesday that he is reviewing [press release] "all the available material" concerning UK terror suspect Dr. Mohammad Haneef as developments in the case warrant such a review. The Australian government has charged Haneef with providing "reckless material support" to the failed UK car bomb attack [JURIST report] earlier this month. Haneef, who is not facing charges in the UK, is believed to have left a subscriber identity module (SIM) [Wikiedpia backgrounder] with his second cousin, one of the alleged bombers, when he left the UK almost a year ago. Lawyers and rights group have rebuked the Australian government's continued detention of Haneef, who was granted bail by a court but immediately held under immigration detention [JURIST report] after Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews [official website] revoked Haneef's work visa on the grounds that Haneef had "associations with people who have been involved in criminal conduct." Haneef is currently appealing the visa revocation at the Federal Court of Australia [official website].

Last Wednesday, government lawyers argued during preliminary hearings that the mere act of giving his cousin a SIM card and borrowing funds to take a medical exam would be sufficient grounds for Haneef to fail the character test used to justify his visa revocation. Presiding Justice Jeffrey Spender appeared skeptical of the government's arguments [West Australian report], saying it was "curious" that the visa revocation followed Haneef's bail ruling and adding that he would fail the character test himself because he had represented criminals in the past. Haneef's next hearing is scheduled for August 8. A justice on the Supreme Court of Victoria [official website] has also cautioned against the detention [JURIST report], insisting that suspects are innocent of crimes until proven guilty and warning that if the principle is "abandoned or modified for political expediency, we risk the legal foundation of our whole criminal justice system." BBC News has more.

 

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