Can you spot the problem here? If Haneef may still face charges, why was he permitted to leave the country? if he presented a threat to Australia, rather than just an opportunity to the Howard government to look tough and show how effective the nice new anti-terrorism laws were (ha! ha!), then why was he allowed to go? Letting a potential terror suspect is, surely, negligent, especially when you'vew already had him in custody for several weeks.
AFP chief Mick Keelty today stressed the investigation into Dr Haneef was far from over, suggesting police could still submit a new brief of evidence against him.
Dr Haneef returned to India at the weekend after prosecutors dropped a charge against him on Friday, nearly a month after he was initially arrested.
Mr Keelty today defended the police handling of the case, denying that the investigation had in any way been bungled.
"At the moment it is quite annoying that people are saying this is a bungled investigation," he told reporters.
"It is not bungled at all. It is continuing.
"It's still potentially possible that a brief of evidence will be submitted against Dr Haneef." (1)
More likely Keelty is simply trying to appear tough and impressively unrelenting in his pursuit of terrorism. Id so, he hasn't suceeded for this latest statement is either pathetically childish - like a kid shouting insults after the person they are mad at has left the room - or an unwitting revelation of the biggest bungle so far. Seizing an innocent man, holding him on trumped up charges and then releasing him because your case was judged incompetent, looks bad. Allowing terror suspects to slip through your fingers is a much worse look.
1 - "Haneef may face further charges," unattributed AAP articel in The Age, 1st August, 2007. (http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/haneef-may-face-further-charges/2007/08/01/1185647970378.html)