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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Australia to reform anti-terrorism laws after Haneef report recommendations
Jaclyn Belczyk at 9:30 AM ET

[JURIST] Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland [official website] said Tuesday that the government will reform anti-terrorism legislation [press release] in accordance with the recommendations [text] of a report [text, PDF] into the case of Dr. Mohammad Haneef [JURIST news archive; timeline] which concluded that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) [official website] had no evidence to detain him. Haneef was arrested in July 2007 and held for 25 days without charges after his cousin allegedly participated in the Glasgow Scotland airport attack [BBC report]. Haneef was later charged with providing support to a terrorist organization. The charges were eventually dropped, but Haneef's visa was revoked. The report, authored by retired judge John Clarke, found that Haneef should never have been charged and that there was "no evidence that [Haneef] was associated with or had foreknowledge of the terrorist events or of the possible involvement of his second cousins Dr Sabeel Ahmed and Mr Kafeel Ahmed in terrorist activities." The report also found that the government of former Prime Minister John Howard had not engaged in any wrongdoing, but that mistakes were made. Haneef has said that he does not plan to return [ABC report] to Australia.

Last December, the Australian Federal Court upheld a decision to reinstate Haneef's work visa [JURIST report]. The terrorism charge against him was dropped [JURIST reports] after the Australian director of public prosecutions reviewed the case and concluded that there was insufficient evidence [press release].

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