Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Haneef Contacts Lawyer To Free Police Of Allegation They Wrote 'Incriminating' Names In His Diary

AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty now claims police did not write anything in Dr Mohamed Haneef's diary. It was a duplicate diary, or something...wait, it now appears that Dr Haneef himself contacted his lawyer to tell him that the story of the police writing names in his diary was not true. The police wrote names on a piece of paper and showed them to him, according to this story.

Keelty says, wait for the case to go before the courts. And then what? Find out the entire case against Haneef was worthless? The most likely scenario now appears to be that the charge of "supporting a terrorist group", a group that doesn't appear to actually exist in the UK, will be dropped and he'll be deported. Or he willingly flee Australia.

The Haneef fiasco is receiving blanket media coverage in India, soaking up front pages, editorials and letters to the editor. A friend writes from India that Australia, its police and the Howard government are disparaged nightly on the news and current affairs shows. The Greens, apparently, are being seen as the action makers in trying to get Haneef released.

An international 'Free Haneef' campaign also appears to be gathering steam.

All in all a very poor outing for first major use of the updated 2004 anti-terror laws. While talk back radio and online public comment has a few "deport the terrorist" types, the vast majority of Australians contributing their opinions to the public debate seem pretty annoyed, disgusted and ashamed at how Dr Haneef has been treated, how the AFP have conducted their investigation and how some in the media have frenzied in their coverage.

PREVIOUSLY : Is the case against Dr Haneef really so pissweak that federal police officers have to try and fake evidence?
...investigating AFP officers wrote the names of overseas terror suspects in Dr Haneef's personal diary, only to later grill him during an interrogation over whether he had written the potentially incriminating notes.
Apparently, it was all just "a mistake".

Thank God for that. Otherwise you might be led to believe that something absolutely dodgy has been going on, what with all the 'leaks' claiming that Haneef was more evil than previously speculated and was somehow, once more allegedly, involved in plotting terror attacks in Queensland.

The Courier Mail reported on Sunday :

Police are investigating whether detained doctor Mohamed Haneef was part of a planned terrorist attack on a landmark building at the Gold Coast.

Australian Federal Police are examining images of the building and its foundations found among documents and photographs seized in a police raid on the doctor's Southport unit three weeks ago.

The AFP inquiry is looking at documents referring to destroying structures discovered in the raid, law enforcement sources said.

Within hours the story had been exposed as complete twaddle, by none other than the head of the Australian Federal Police, Mick Keelty.

Still no word yet on where the Courier Mail got its information, or even if the source was valid, and the editor has published no apology for being involved in yet another smear campaign against Haneef.

Presumably the bullshit story came from the police, otherwise why would Mick Keelty decide he needed to all but apologise to Haneef's lawyers for such an allegation becoming public?

...Mr Keelty issued a statement describing as "inaccurate" reports police were investigating a local terror plot after discovering images of the Q1 building in Dr Haneef's Gold Coast unit.

"We will be taking the extraordinary step of contacting Dr Haneef's lawyer to correct the record," Mr Keelty said.

David Marr :
Crooks are not caught by backyard gossip and idiotic speculation but by bringing logic to bear on facts.

Was that tiny weapon of mass destruction - Haneef's SIM card - found at the scene of the crime in Glasgow? No. Perhaps the overcoat he left also with his cousin turned up in the blazing Jeep Cherokee driven into the airport terminal? Apparently not. Was he roaming Surfers Paradise looking for a target to destroy? Not according to the police.

It seems we're just where we were last Friday: the public case against Haneef has entirely collapsed.
Mick Keelty back on July 3, when talk radio and online news page comments were busy spreading the myth that Haneef may have tried to detonate the London car bombs by mobile phone calls from Queensland :
...we should be cautious here that Dr Haneef may have done nothing wrong and may, at the end of the day, be free to go.
Keelty was insisting on July 20 that the police case against Dr Haneef had not been damaged by the near endless stream of controversies, foul-ups, leaks and mismanagement of the investigations.

After another weekend of false stories and allegations being leaked to the media, by "law enforcement sources", and yet more mopping up by Mick Keelty, you have to wonder whether he still believes there is still a case worth pursuing against Dr Haneef at all.

British police still haven't named or even confirmed the existence of "the terrorist group" that Haneef is being accused of supporting.

The Haneef tale has become a major story across the world, particularly in India, the UK and across South East Asia, but not because of the charges against Haneef, but for the endless series of screw-ups and controversies surrounding the federal prosecution's increasingly hole-ridden case.

As the Calcutta Telegraph writes in this lead :
Critical information used to brand Mohammed Haneef a terrorist and condemn him to solitary confinement might not be true...
Somewhere in Pakistan, the leaders of Al Qaeda are laughing themselves stupid. They barely have to even try anymore to send a nation and its federal law enforcement officers into a state of confusion, panic and chaos. We are quite capable of doing all that to ourselves.

Lawyer : Government Is Trying Haneef By Media

Prosecution May Have Misled Court

No Comment From Ruddock On Haneef 'Plot'

Australian Federal Police Under Fire As Haneef Case Unravels

Australian Authorities Flayed For 'Sloppy' Investigations