Wednesday, 1 August 2007

More on Haneef ...

It looks like the conversation was relating to Haneef's possible connection (association, as Andrews would like to call it) to the botched terror attacks of cousins Sabeel and Kaheel. This still doesn't prove anything at all, beyond that the family were aware of events in Britain (unsurprisingly) and brother Shuaib (still, it is important to remember, not suspected of any involvement in terrorism) was warning his brother not to say too much to his employer, as getting home to his child was the priority.

Absurdly, Andrews is still claiming that a five line exchange represents the matter and the meaning of the discussion between Haneef and Suaib:

Mr Andrews defended criticism he had selectively released details designed to taint Dr Haneef, instead of making public the entire second police interview that would provide proper context.

"That was the material (released) which formed the substance of that internet conversation," Mr Andrews told ABC television.

"That is basically the conversation.

"As far as I'm aware there's nothing that's been left out of that." (1)

Andrews has not been aware of stuff before, like when he was not aware of the differences between Haneef's answers in the police interview and the affidavit the police supplied Andrews with. Ignorance is bliss. It is also politically useful and expedient.

Andrews then gets childish, complaining about Haneef talking to the press in India:
Mr Andrews questioned why Dr Haneef had not held a press conference before heleft Australia at the weekend.

"He's done numerous press conference in India ... why didn't this bloke actually turn up and front the Australian media and let them ask questions?" he said. (2)
Unfortunately, whilst Andrews was spouting this truculent crap, it emerged, via haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo, that this might not have been by choice:

Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo said the government placed a media gag on his client as a condition of departure, with the doctor limiting himself to a thumbs-up sign before boarding a Bangkok-bound plane leaving Brisbane Airport. (3)
That needs to be substantiated, of course, as the media have made plenty of bungles of their own. Even if it isn't accurate, you couldn't blame Haneef for choosing to get out of Australia as soon as possible, in case the government changed its mind and decided to detain him again. Hmmm. Home, family, liberty and new baby vs Australia, on my own, at risk of being arrested or detained again, pretty much on the whim of the erratic and frequently unaware Kevin Andrews. Not a tough choice.
1 - "Minister 'selective' on Haneef chat," unattributed AAP article in The Age, August 1st, 2007 (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/08/01/1185647937959.html)
2 - ibid.
3 - "Cleared Indian doctor leaves Australia," unattributed AFP article on Yahoo, July 29th, 2007. (
http://nz.news.yahoo.com/070728/8/11mj.html)

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