In its first admission that the case against Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef is weak, Australia's Director of Public Prosecution announced Wednesday night that he was reviewing the case against him.
Haneef, hailing from Bangalore in southern India, is sought to be linked to the failed Glasgow bombing on June 30, but the prosecution has not been able to come up with anything incriminating against him.
AdvertisementHe was intercepted at the Brisbane airport two days after the Glasgow incident of June 30. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) claims that he has links with his cousins Kafeel and Sabeel charged with masterminding the attempt.
With many claims of the police coming unstuck one after another and the Australian media coming down on them for inept handling of the issue, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg announced he would review the available material in the case.
'Cleary not every matter which is prosecuted by my office is reviewed by me,' he said.
'But there are matters which have developed as this case has progressed which I am examining.'
Under the amended charge, prosecutors will now have to prove that the SIM card Haneef allegedly gave to his cousin, a British terror suspect, was a terrorist resource.
Haneef gave the card to Sabeel Ahmed, the brother of the man who rammed a flaming jeep into Glasgow Airport terminal, almost a year ago before he came to Australia.
Legal sources said yesterday it would be difficult to prove a person would know a year before the UK plots that a SIM card would be a resource which could aid in a terrorist act.
Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo applied to the Brisbane Magistrate Court to challenge the charge, saying it was 'deficient in law'.
While the prosecution says it would amend the charges when the case comes up for hearing on Aug.31, Haneef's lawyers have sought to have the charge amended as soon as Friday.
'There is no excuse for them to delay doing so until August 31. Amendments should be made sooner rather than later,' Russo said.
News of the review and amendment of the charge have come after a string of extraordinary developments, including an admission from the AFP that Haneef's SIM card was not found in the wreckage of the burning jeep at Glasgow Airport.
A Brisbane court was told it was in the car and would have been destroyed had it exploded.
Haneef's visiting cousin-in-law Imran Siddiqui and Russo visited the Indian High Commissioner in Canberra Wednesday.