By Neeraj Nanda
Melbourne, 23 December : Australia has made a formal apology to Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef for his wrongful detention in 2007 over failed terrorist attacks at airports in London and Glasgow.
The move follows the payment of undisclosed compensation to Haneef, who was detained and charged with giving support to a terrorist organisation after his mobile phone SIM card was wrongly linked to the attempted car-bombings, reports AFP.
It further says:
“The AFP (Australian Federal Police) acknowledges that it was mistaken and that Dr. Haneef was innocent of the offence of which he was suspected,” said a statement on the attorney-general’s website.
“The (government) apologises and hopes that the compensation to be paid to Dr. Haneef will mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and allow Dr. Haneef to move forward with his life and career.”
Dr. Md. Haneef, who was wrongly charged of terrorism charges by the Liberal Howard government in 2007 after the failed terrorist acts in Glasgow, is to get a substantial compensation for his wrongful arrest by the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Dr. Haneef’s lawyer, Rod Hodgson told ABC Breakfast today that the Australian Government will also tender a public apology to Dr. Haneef apart from the compensation.
Dr. Haneef’s lawyer also said that the amount of the compensation ‘is under wraps’ and the doctor was ‘delighted with the outcome’. Estimates are that the compensation is around one million dollars. In 2007 the AFP spent around one and half million dollars in the case which led to the wrongful terrorism charges against Dr. Haneef.
The compensation deal is expected to remove the ‘stain’ on Australia for wrongfully charging and detaining an Indian doctor which was criticized by human rights campaigners and the Indian community in Australia.