Australia apologises to Indian doctor over terror charge

23rd December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Australia has made a formal apology to Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef for his wrongful detention in 2007 over failed extremist attacks at airports in London and Glasgow.

The move follows the payment of undisclosed compensation to Haneef, who was detained and charged with giving support to a terrorist organisation after his mobile phone SIM card was wrongly linked to the attempted car-bombings.

"The AFP (Australian Federal Police) acknowledges that it was mistaken and that Dr. Haneef was innocent of the offence of which he was suspected," said a statement on the attorney-general's website.

"The (government) apologises and hopes that the compensation to be paid to Dr. Haneef will mark the end of an unfortunate chapter and allow Dr. Haneef to move forward with his life and career."

Haneef was arrested under anti-terror laws as he waited to fly on a one-way ticket from Queensland to India, and was detained for 12 days before being charged. The case was seen as damaging for Australia's image abroad.

"I'm very pleased and happy with the resolution of this matter," Haneef told reporters this week, after the compensation was announced.

"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."

© 2010 AFP

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