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Lawyers say Haneef victim of witch hunt -

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Lawyers say Haneef victim of witch hunt

Broadcast: 05/04/2008

Reporter: James Kelly

The Commonwealth prosecutor dropped a terrorism charge against Dr Mohamed Haneef last year, but
Federal police admit nine officers are still on the case.


VIRGINIA TRIOLI, PRESENTER: A scandal and a witch hunt, that's how Mohammed Haneef's lawyer and
civil libertarians have described the continuing investigation into the Indian doctor by the
Federal Police.

The Commonwealth prosecutor dropped the terrorism charge against Dr Haneef last year, but Federal
Police admit nine officers are still on the case.

James Kelly reports.

JAMES KELLY, REPORTER: Dr Mohammed Haneef has been in India since a charge of supporting terrorism
was dropped last July. But that hasn't stopped the Federal Police investigating the case.

ROD HODGSON, HANEEF'S LAWYER: Dr Haneef is very concerned, very unhappy that he is continuing to be
described by the Australian police, Australian Federal Police, as a suspect.

JAMES KELLY: Civil libertarians are also upset.

MICHAEL COPE, COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES: It can now only be described as a witch hunt.

JAMES KELLY: In February at a Senate committee hearing the Federal Police commissioner was asked
how many officers were still investigating.

MICK KEELTY, FEDERAL POLICE COMMISSIONER: I've got historical figures but I haven't got the current
figure in front of me.

JAMES KELLY: Now, it's been revealed there are nine police working full-time on the case and five
others periodically. The cost of the investigation as of December was more than $7.5 million.

ROD HODGSON: That many millions of dollars having been spent of Australian taxpayers' money after
the DPP told everybody that Dr Haneef had no case to answer is a scandal.

JAMES KELLY: The Government says the officers are not just investigating Dr Haneef, they're looking
at the Australian links to the Glasgow and London bombings, while the Opposition wouldn't comment
on the AFP's use of resources.

BRENDAN NELSON, OPPOSITION LEADER: That they presumably have very good reasons for the things that
they're doing

JAMES KELLY: The Clarke judicial inquiry into the handling of the Haneef case may get under way
within a month. The Government says the

AFP has signalled it will co-operate.

MICHAEL COPE: It also, to us, makes it even more important that the Federal Government inquiry into
this case is given powers to compel witnesses to attend.

JAMES KELLY: The Clarke report is due by the end of September.

James Kelly, Lateline.