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Friday, July 27, 2007 : 1200 Hrs

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  • Australian Federal Police drops charges against Haneef

    Melbourne, July 27 (PTI): Australia's prosecution chief today dropped terrorism charges against Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef following a review of the case, more than three weeks after he was arrested in connection with last month's failed car bombings in London and Glasgow.

    Twenty-seven-year-old, Haneef, who was arrested on July 2 in Brisbane, was charged with "recklessly" supporting a terrorist group.

    Prosecutors withdrew the case against the Indian doctor at a Brisbane Magistrates' court hearing.

    The case was reviewed by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Damian Bugg, who said the charges have been dropped because a "mistake" was made in the case.

    "On my view of this matter, a mistake has been made and I will examine that, because to me the primary decision to make was to determine whether or not this prosecution was on sound footing or not, I've made that determination," he said at a press conference.

    "I'll now take further steps to inquire as to how that mistake occurred," he was quoted as saying by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

    Yesterday, the former chairman of the National Crime Authority, Peter Faris, had said the DPP's decision to review the case suggested that the case was about to collapse.

    "This is the end of the case against Haneef," he said. "I have no doubt that the reason that (Mr) Bugg has intervened is to find a way out of the impasse that the DPP finds itself in, which is, to put it bluntly, they have no case."

    It is unclear what will now happen regarding the cancellation of Haneef's work visa, but his cousin Imran Siddiqui, who is in Australia to provide him moral support, says the family will fight to clear his name completely.


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