Thu, Jul 19, 2007 - Page 5 News List

Haneef police interview published

AP , BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Terror suspect Mohamed Haneef told Australian police he knew nothing about the plot to launch attacks in London and Scotland, and freely admitted he knew two suspects being detained in Britain, leaked interview documents have shown.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the leaking of the interview, which was published in yesterday's Australian newspaper, could jeopardize Haneef's trial and was being investigated as possible contempt of court.

The publication came amid intense debate about whether Haneef, an Indian doctor who came to Australia from Britain last year, is being treated fairly by police and the Australian government.

Haneef, 27, was arrested as he tried to leave Australia for India with a one-way ticket on July 2, two days after two men drove a flaming Jeep loaded with gas canisters into the international airport in Glasgow, Scotland.

Unexploded car bombs had been found in London the day before.

Haneef was charged on Saturday with giving support to a terrorist organization for leaving his mobile phone SIM card with two distant cousins, one of whom was in the Glasgow Jeep. The SIM card was also found in the burned-out vehicle, police say.

A magistrate this week granted Haneef conditional bail, saying the prosecution's evidence was not strong enough to keep him in jail. Within hours, the federal government revoked Haneef's visa and said he would be taken into immigration custody if he made bail.

Haneef's lawyers were due to lodge an appeal of the visa decision yesterday.

The Australian posted on the Internet what appeared to be the official transcript of a July 3 police interview with Haneef. Condemning the leak on national radio, Keelty did not challenge the authenticity of the document.

In the interview, Haneef was asked what he knew of the attempted London bombing and said he didn't know anything about it.

Pressed further, he replied: "I gather about Glasgow thing and there was some plot in London. But I don't know, I have not any relation with that at all.''

Separately, he told his interviewers he gave Sabeel Ahmed his mobile phone last year before he left for Australia because it had some unused credit. He also said he borrowed up to ?300 (US$615) from Kafeel Ahmed in 2004 to pay for a medical exam.

Kafeel Ahmed is believed to have set himself ablaze after crashing into the Glasgow airport and remains in a Scottish hospital with critical burns. Sabeel, his brother, has been charged with withholding information that could prevent an act of terrorism.

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