Mohamed Haneef arrives at Brisbane Airport to board a Thai Airways flight to India. Pic: Reuters
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday gave the go-ahead for Dr Haneef to return to India but refused to reinstate his visa.Dr Haneef has vowed to continue to fight to have his visa reinstated in the hope he may one day even return to live and work in Australia, his lawyer says.
Peter Russo said Dr Haneef was “fairly happy” with the outcome and would push ahead with a Federal Court appeal against the cancellation of his work visa, with a hearing due in Brisbane on August 8.
Smiling and giving a thumbs up sign, Dr Haneef was ushered into Brisbane international airport by immigration officials but did not speak to the media.
Accompanied by his relative Imran Siddiqui, Dr Haneef was booked on a Thai Airways flight to Bangalore via Bangkok.
Mr Russo said Dr Haneef was not being deported and was leaving Australia voluntarily as he was homesick and pining for his family in Bangalore.
“He’s fairly happy, he had a choice of either staying until the (visa appeal) hearing has concluded or go back to his wife and child on a voluntary basis – he chose to go back voluntarily,” Mr Russo told reporters at Brisbane airport as he waited to fly out with Dr Haneef.
Although the likes of that serial whiner Bob Brown will see the Haneef case as an example of the evil of our anti-Terror legislation, I personally see that the events that we have witnessed over the last few weeks show that opposing Jihadist terror is never going to be easy. So much of such cases can turn upon the proper handling of what may be very small pieces of evidence, which must be perfectly documented and perfectly annotated in any court process. When mistakes are made a case will inevitable be weakened. Certainly in the Haneef case this was the reason that the Prosecution collapsed.
The Law is however a beast that learns from such mistakes and we can only hope that in future if it is decided to prosecute some one for terrorism associations that the case is more substantial and more accurately presented. As for the Good doctor himself, assuming he is not involved in any sort of Jihadist plot, I hope that he realises that the powers that be in this country have to take very seriously indeed his clear relationships with not one but two of the terrorists caught after the latest attempts to cause death an destruction in the UK.