Saturday, July 14, 2007

Charged After Being Held

Mohamed Haneef
Originally uploaded by Sydney Weasel
Held without charge for some 12 days, his defence team demanded he was released or charged.

The charge might have been applied on the first morning, but it is apparent the authorities wanted to make sure they would charge him appropriately, and not risk allowing him to escape on a technicality.

In some cases, civil liberties cost the community too much.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haneef charged over UK terror link
GOLD Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said in a statement today.

Sydney Dr Haneef, 27, an Indian national who was living and working at Southport on Queensland's Gold Coast, was charged today over his involvement with the alleged perpetrators of the failed UK bombings on June 29 and 30.

"He has been charged with providing support to a terrorist organisation contrary to Section 102.7(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995,'' the AFP statement said.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 15 years jail.

Sky News is reporting that the basis of the charge is Dr Haneef providing a mobile phone SIM card to a terrorist organisation.

Dr Haneef is already in custody and is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this morning.

The Gold Coast Hospital doctor is related to two men detained in the UK over the plot, Sabeel and Kafeel Ahmed, who allegedly drove a Jeep Cherokee into Glasgow airport.

Police today had 12 hours to question Dr Haneef before they had to either release him or charge him.

He has been held in custody for 12 days, under new Australian anti-terrorism laws. He was arrested at Brisbane airport on July 2 with a one-way ticket to India.

Dr Haneef told authorities he was on his way to Bangalore to visit his wife, who had just given birth.

Police yesterday withdrew a request for an extension of time to question Dr Haneef, prompting wide speculation he would be released without charge today.

Dr Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo told the ABC he had spent all night at federal police headquarters in Brisbane where his client was questioned.

He said Dr Haneef had been transferred to the Brisbane watchhouse this morning.

His client is very upset by the news and will apply for bail, Mr Russo said.

Dr Haneef is the second person to be charged in over the failed UK attacks. The other is Bilal Abdullah, who is accused of conspiring to set off explosions in Britain.

Dr Haneef, who came to Australia from Britain last year to work in a hospital on the Gold Coast, is a distant cousin of Kafeel and Sabeel Ahmed, two of the suspects being held in Britain.

The three reportedly shared a house in the British city of Liverpool for up to two years before Haneef moved to Australia, and remained in contact by phone and online messaging after that.

Police have also said they suggest a possible link between Haneef and Abdullah.

Australian officials have previously said Haneef was arrested after his mobile phone's SIM card was found in the possession of one of the British suspects, later identified by media reports as Sabeel Ahmed.

Official documents cited by The Australian newspaper yesterday said Haneef gave the SIM card to Sabeel Ahmed before he moved to Australia from Britain last year so that his cousin could take advantage of free minutes left on his mobile phone plan.