Sun, Aug 31, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Aussie police clear Indian physician of role in UK attacks

‘FOOLISH MISTAKES’ Mohamed Haneef plans to seek compensation from Australian authorities and an apology for his high-profile arrest, lawyers said

AFP , SYDNEY

Australian police have cleared an Indian doctor of involvement in failed bomb attacks in the UK last year after a bungled 14-month probe that is now the subject of a judicial inquiry.

Muslim doctor Mohamed Haneef was arrested on July 2 last year and charged 12 days later with providing support to a terrorist organization after his cellphone SIM card was linked to car bombings in London and Glasgow.

But the charge was dropped three weeks later and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said late on Friday they had abandoned their investigation into Haneef as there was not enough evidence.

“The AFP has concluded its active inquiries, although some long-standing overseas inquiries are yet to be fully resolved,” the police said in a brief statement. “At the present time, there is insufficient evidence to institute proceedings against Dr Haneef for any criminal offence.”

The police kept the investigation open for more than a year after charges against Haneef were dropped, spending more than A$8 million (US$6.9 million) in the process.

Haneef’s lawyers said he would seek compensation from the Australian government and an apology for his high-profile arrest and imprisonment.

Haneef, 28, said the harrowing incident that propelled the mild-mannered hospital registrar onto front pages around the world had affected his whole family and that police had taken too long to clear him.

“It has left the whole family in darkness, this episode. Just because of some — I don’t know — some foolish mistakes from some person,” Haneef told the Weekend Australian from the United Arab Emirates, where he now lives.

Haneef had been working in a hospital in Australia when he was arrested.

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