Oz Govt. issues formal apology to Indian-origin Dr. Haneef over wrongful arrest

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CANBERRA - The Australian government has made a formal apology to Indian-origin doctor Mohamed Haneef for wrongly arresting him over suspicion of involvement in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport terrorist attack, saying he can now move on with his life.

Following his release on bail, the then immigration minister Kevin Andrews had cancelled his visa on character grounds.

Earlier this week, Dr Haneef’s lawyer Rod Hodgson had said that his client received a ’substantial’ compensation payout from the Government and that he was ‘delighted’ with the deal, but did not confirm the amount.

“The AFP (Australian Federal Police) acknowledges that it was mistaken and that Dr Haneef was innocent of the offence of which he was suspected,” The Courier Mail quoted the apology, as saying.

“The Commonwealth apologises and hopes that the compensation to be paid to Dr Haneef will mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and allow Dr Haneef to move forward with his life and career,” it added.

The Government also acknowledged that arresting, charging, detaining and eventually cancelling Dr Haneef’s visa created “serious consequences for him and his family”.

Meanwhile, Hodgson has said the apology reaffirmed his client’s innocence.

“We congratulate the government for recognising an injustice done on the watch of the previous government and for this public apology and declaration of innocence. The apology means a lot to our client,” he added. (ANI)

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