Release full transcript of probe, Haneef tells Australia
Aug 1, 2007 - 8:49:29 PM
Bangalore, Aug 1 - Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef Wednesday contested claims by Australian authorities that they have fresh evidence of his involvement in the failed British terror plot and challenged them to come out with the full transcript of his police interrogation and an online chat with his brother.
'What Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews is revealing now about the probe and the chat is not new. It is only selective and partial,' a tense Haneef told reporters here at a hurriedly-convened press conference.
'The minister has not come out with the full transcript of the police investigation that contains my explanation about the online conversation I had with Shoaib,' he said.
He was referring to an online chat he had with his brother about the botched June-end terror plot. The chat took place July 2, the day Haneef was arrested at Brisbane airport.
Haneef's cousin Imran Siddiqui, who had rushed to Australia to bail him out, said they were not yet given the full transcript of either the interrogation or the chat in spite of filing an affidavit a fortnight ago seeking them.
'Haneef's replies to the Australian Federal Police - about the contents of the chat and other queries will clear the air and prove that his attempt to depart from Australia had no links with the botched car bombings in Britain or the alleged involvement of his cousins - Kafeel Ahmed and Sabeel Ahmed - in the terror plot,' Siddiqui said.
'Let Andrews or the AFP come out with the full chat transcript and the entire transcript of the interrogation. There is no evidence of Haneef having prior knowledge about the terror plot or links with its perpetrators, including his cousins,' he added.
The 27-year-old Indian doctor, who worked in a Queensland hospital, returned to India Sunday after Australia dropped terror charges against him after a 25-day incarceration. His cancelled work visa was, however, not restored.
Recent reports from Australia said the probe against Haneef was still on and Australian Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews justified his decision to cancel his visa on the basis of the contents of the online chat.
Though he had remained inaccessible to the media since his first press conference here late Monday, Haneef came calling to give his version of Andrews' statement Wednesday.
Haneef said the Australian police had asked him about the chat with his brother and that he had answered all their queries.
In a brief statement, Haneef said his Australian lawyer Peter Russo had advised him not to make any comment on his visa status before the pending case came up for hearing in an Australian court Aug 8.
'Since the Australian minister and the AFP are still commenting on why my work visa was cancelled, it is better my views come from my legal team till the case is heard,' Haneef said.
Asked whether it was a sheer coincidence that he was leaving for India so soon after the failed bombings in London and Glasgow, Haneef said it could have been circumstantial and that he would not like to elaborate.
Haneef, however, admitted he was in regular touch with Shoaib and his family on the telephone and the Internet.
'I have been in regular contact with my family back in India. It was not only on that day - I was chatting with Shoaib. I have been in touch with him that way regularly,' he said.
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