Indian Doctor Wins Huge Compensation For False Implication In Terror Plot

by Gopalan on  December 22, 2010 at 5:33 AM General Health News
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 Indian Doctor Wins Huge Compensation For False Implication In Terror Plot
Mohammed Haneef, the young Indian doctor falsely implicated in the Glasgow bombing case three years ago, has won a huge payout from the Australian government.

Emerging from two days of talks Dr Haneef said he was "very pleased and relieved" the matter had been resolved. He looked forward to getting on with his life and career, he said.

"My wrongful arrest and detention in 2007 was a very traumatic experience and today's settlement is a chance to end that part of my life and move on with my family."

He was flanked by his legal representatives, wife Firdous and daughter Haniyah when he made the statement.

Haneef, who was arrested by police in July 2007 at a Queensland airport as he waited to fly to India on a one-way ticket, said he would consider returning to live in Australia one day.

"My family and I are enjoying our visit in Australia, especially seeing our dear friends here, and we look forward to possibly returning to Australia one day," he said.

The medic, who was held for 25 days and not charged for the first 12, had been working as a doctor at Queensland's Gold Coast Hospital at the time of the failed bombings on airports in the United Kingdom.

He was detained and eventually charged with recklessly giving support to a terrorist organisation after his mobile phone SIM card was linked to failed attacks on airports in the UK.

He was later found to be innocent and the victim of bungling by prosecutors but by then the government had cancelled his work visa and he had returned to India.

Haneef launched his compensation claim earlier this year, seeking damages for lost earnings, emotional stress, the interruption to his medical career and damage to his reputation.

"Part of the agreement is that the parties not discuss the details of the settlement," his lawyer Rod Hodgson said. "Although I can say that Dr Haneef will receive a substantial compensation."

The mediation, under former Queensland corruption inquiry chief Tony Fitzgerald QC, resolves all legal matters against the government and its agencies.

This includes a proposed action against former Howard government minister Kevin Andrews, who cancelled Dr Haneef's work visa, ensuring the Indian-trained doctor's detention continued after a magistrate allowed his release from jail on bail.

Mr Andrews yesterday issued a statement in which he said: "I have been advised that Dr Haneef has withdrawn his action for defamation against me. I have made no apology. Nor has any compensation been paid in relation to the defamation action."

Dr Haneef's lawyer, Rod Hodgson from Maurice Blackburn, said the settlement was a fair outcome that acknowledged the injustice he suffered. "The mediation closes the book on an incident that was a stain on Australia's reputation as a fair place to work and live," he said.

He said Dr Haneef did not hold any grudge against the Australian government over his 2007 treatment and the subsequent actions.

"He is very happy and is looking forward to moving on," Mr Hodgson said. Haneef has been working in Dubai since leaving Australia, and he hoped to return within a year, pending medical registration and a work visa.

"I like the place, I like working over there in the Gold Coast," he said Friday

Attorney-General Robert McClelland acknowledged Dr Haneef had had a difficult time.

He said amendments to national security laws to limit the time a person could be detained for questioning would prevent a re-occurrence of a similar situation.

Source: Medindia

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