Will Dr Pridgeon end up with compo?

It sometimes “pays” to fight City Hall. In 2007, during the reign of John Howard, the lowly visa-holder Dr Muhhamed Haneef had some big names arrayed against him — Attorney General Philip Ruddock and Commonwealth DPP Damian Bugg, not to mention the heavily-armed AFP.

Muhamed Haneef had entered Australia on a special program for foreign doctors. He worked at Gold Coast Hospital and ventured home to India when his wife gave birth.

I wonder if his arrest was meant for show. “EVERY COUNTRY’S GOT TO HAVE A MUSLIM TERRORIST.” They picked him up at Brisbane airport in 2007 for terror-related activities – Australia’s first quarry after the passage of the 2005 anti-terrorism laws.

The evidence of Haneef’s terrorism later boiled down to his having given his SIM card to his cousin. Oh my.

Our friend Dr Russell Pridgeon, too, was almost surely arrested for show – “ACTIVISM AGAINST PEDOPHILE RINGS HAS GOT TO BE SEEN AS DANGEROUS AND EXPENSIVE.” Fact is, the Haneef case had a happy ending. Queensland Premier Peter Beattie reinstated Dr Haneef’s medical licence, and he got a wad of cash for suffering.

Maybe the same fate awaits Russell Pridgeon, MD. Yay!

Below, I let Wikipedia tell the HANEEF story.   But if you already know the embarrassing details, don’t bother reading, just watch this happy little scene:

Wikipedia’s entry on Muhamed Haneef:

In December 2010, Haneef returned to Australia to seek damages for loss of income, interruption of his professional work, and emotional distress. He was awarded compensation from the Australian government. The amount of compensation awarded was not disclosed, but was described by sources as “substantial”.


Haneef was arrested on 2 July 2007 at Brisbane Airport, Brisbane. He is the first person detained under the 2005 Australian Anti-Terrorism Act and the first to have his detention extended under the Act, being detained for twelve days without being charged with a crime. [The 2005 laws were passed in response to a UN treaty.]

Mick Keelty, the Australian Federal Police Commissioner, acknowledged that Haneef “may have done nothing wrong and may at the end of the day be free to go.”

The One-way Ticket

At the time of his arrest, Haneef was attempting to make a one-way trip to India. Authorities discounted the possibility that Haneef was returning to see his six-day-old daughter, who had neonatal jaundice, and wife who had given birth to her first child by emergency caesarean section.

Haneef’s father-in-law said the doctor wanted to take his wife and daughter back to Australia after getting the infant a passport, and so travelled without a return ticket.

The AFP claimed in a court affidavit that Haneef, “had no explanation as to why he did not have a return ticket” from India to Australia.

While the police affidavit stated Haneef “had no explanation” about his one-way ticket, the record of interview shows that he gave a detailed explanation to police while answering questions. Haneef told police that, as he did not have funds in his Australian bank account, his father-in-law had booked and paid for the one-way ticket with an understanding that “when I go there we can arrange for the coming back ticket.” [I travel one-way all the time, have not yet been arrested.]

The SIM Card

Australian authorities alleged that as Haneef left Britain in 2006 he recklessly provided assistance to a terrorist organisation by leaving his relative, Sabeel Ahmed, a SIM card and the balance of a two-year mobile phone contract.

Relatives have said that he left the SIM card behind to save money by not surrendering the remaining value of the contract to the telephone company. [Didn’t I say this case is embarrassing?]

The prosecutor claimed the SIM card was found inside the vehicle used in the Glasgow Airport attack. This allegation, central to the case, has proved to be false. Investigating British police officers have concluded that the case is being driven by politics rather than policing. [Aw, gee]

Mick Keelty revealed that Scotland Yard had initially told Australian Federal Police investigators that the SIM card was found in the jeep, confirming that the conduit for the SIM card error was the Australian Federal Police, contrary to Mick Keelty’s previous denials.  [No high school diploma found, however]

A review by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Damian Bugg, revealed the allegations connected to the SIM card use as “error of fact”.

Still continuing the Wikipedia article here:

The Diary

There has been confusion with the handling of evidence, with Australian police presenting their own notes to Haneef under the impression that they were diary entries written by Haneef. This led to inaccurate claims that the police had written in the diary itself.

Australian intelligence authorities are reportedly probing a report in the Indian newspaper The Asian Age that alleged Haneef supposedly belonged to the now banned Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) when he was at medical school.

Detention [a la Bryant]

Queensland Police and Corrective Services Minister Judy Spence said the conditions of Haneef’s detention included no contact with other inmates, meaning he would be alone in a cell for all but one hour a day, when he is allowed to exercise.

“Anyone who is charged under terrorist legislation is obviously seen as a greater threat to the good order of our society than other types of prisoners,” she said

[especially the kind that give SIM cards away].


Australian authorities charged Haneef under Section 102.7(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995. An offence under this section of the Act carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. The basis of the charge was the allegation that he had intentionally provided support to an organization deemed to be a terrorist organisation under the terms of the act, whilst being reckless as to whether it was a terrorist organisation. The allegation centered on the gift of his own SIM card to his cousin, Sabeel Ahmed.

A Commonwealth prosecutor told magistrate Jacqui Payne:

Dr Haneef lived with these people.

He may have worked with these people.

He associated with these people.

He is their second cousin.

Cancellation of Visa by Government

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews announced that Haneef’s visa has been cancelled immediately on “character grounds” and, if released on bail, he will be taken into immigration detention.

Mr Andrews said that the Australian Federal Police will issue a “criminal justice certificate“, the effect of which is that Haneef will remain in immigration detention while legal proceedings are afoot.

Mr Andrews said he had revoked Haneef’s 457 temporary skills visa on character grounds, because he “reasonably suspected” that Haneef had an association with people involved in terrorism.

He further said “I’m satisfied the cancellation is in the national interest. I have a responsibility and a duty as minister under the Act to turn my mind to the question of whether Haneef passes the character test.”

This decision was criticised by the head of the Australian Bar Association, Stephen Estcourt who said “He can’t do that.”

On 31 July, Mr Andrews claimed to have canceled Haneef’s visa based in part on an online chat that Haneef had with his brother prior to attempting to leave Australia.

In the preliminary hearing, Justice Spender described as “absolutely astounding” the government’s argument that mere association with a suspected criminal means a non-citizen fails the character test for the purposes of his visa, stating that even he could not pass the character test as he had represented murderers in the past.

Leakage of Interview Transcript

On 18 July 2007, Haneef’s barrister Stephen Keim confirmed that he had leaked a transcript of Haneef’s initial interview with the AFP to the media in order to counter what he described as a campaign of damaging leaks by law enforcement agencies.

Australia’s Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, claimed that to ensure a fair trial, Haneef might have been forced to spend more time in detention as a result of the leaked transcript. [swearda God]

Reaction of Government of India

Meanwhile, in India, the Australian High Commissioner, John McCarthy, was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs, and told of India’s concern over the way Haneef was being treated. This comes after Haneef’s wife complained to the Prime Minister of India.

The prime minister of India was quoted as to have said that he could not sleep the whole night owing to Haneef’s arrest. [And I’ll bet the people of Botswana are not too happy about Dr Pridgeon either!]

Criticism of Prosecution Case

The handling of the case by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been criticised by Victorian Supreme Court Judge (then criminal lawyer) Lex Lasry, and former chairman of the National Crime Commission, Peter Faris. These claims were disputed by Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Keelty.

The Federal Labor party has resisted offering criticism of the Government’s handling of the issue .… This contrasts with statements issued by The Greens which have been strongly critical of the Government’s actions. Federal Labor’s failure to criticise the Government is widely seen as an attempt by its leadership to avoid a political wedge issue in the lead up to the late-2007 federal election.

Bill Hayden, former Governor-General, also criticised the government’s handling of the case, which he described as “frightening and appalling“, and especially the cancellation of Haneef’s visa by immigration minister Kevin Andrews, which Hayden described as “arbitrary”.

Dropping of Charge by the DPP

On 27 July, all charges against Mohamed Haneef were dropped before Magistrate Wendy Cull in the Brisbane Magistrates Court. Prosecutor A.J. McSporran said that there would be “no reasonable prospect of a conviction of Haneef being secured.”

He told the court that prosecutors had made two mistakes at a bail hearing on 14 July. One was their claim that Haneef’s SIM card had been found in a burning jeep at Glasgow Airport when, in fact, it had been found in the possession of the brother of a terrorism suspect in Liverpool. The second error was their accusation that Haneef had once lived with some of the UK bombing suspects, when in fact he had not.

Calls for a Formal Apology

The then premier of Queensland, Peter Beattie, on 30 July, said that Haneef had been treated “appallingly”. “Kevin Andrews should be the subject of an inquiry, and the handling of the whole issue should be subject to a total reassessment,” Mr Beattie said.

Mr Beattie said if any inquiry went ahead and found there was nothing to hold against Haneef, he should be given a formal apology.

“You do not put someone in detention for this period of time then not pursue the matter against him in the courts without some sort of … acknowledgement that a mistake was made, That’s the least that we could do.”

Job Kept Open

There have been mounting calls in Australia for the doctor to be allowed back to work, and the Gold Coast Hospital where he was working has said Haneef’s job is waiting for him if he regains the visa. Haneef has not returned to this job, choosing to pursue a career in Dubai

Family Reactions

Haneef’s family celebrated his release. “We’ve always known that he was innocent and now everyone else knows it too,” Haneef’s sister, Sumayya said. “It’s been a year since we’ve last seen him and this last month has been so traumatic for us. We’re all waiting to finally meet him. My brother has suffered so much this past month.”

The Clarke Inquiry and Report

On 13 March 2008, the Commonwealth Attorney-General Robert McClelland announced former NSW Supreme Court Justice, the Hon. John Clarke SC, would chair an inquiry into the ‘arrest, detention, charging, prosecution and release’ of Dr Haneef.

The attorney-general labelled the Clarke inquiry a “judicial inquiry” The president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, called it a “Mickey Mouse inquiry“.

The report was presented to the government on 21 November 2008. The report concludes:

ASIO reported to the government two days after Haneef’s arrest that there was no information that he was guilty of anything. [Excuse me, were they talking about Martin Bryant?]

Commander Ramzi Jabbour, manager, counter-terrorism (domestic), had lost objectivity and was “unable to see that the evidence he regarded as highly incriminating in fact amounted to very little”; and

Police officers Neil Thompson and Adam Simms, who interrogated Haneef, refused to charge him, [Thank you, boys, gongs are due here] so Jabbour did so himself. [Emphasis added] – end of Wikipedia article, retrieved November 2, 2018

Source : https://gumshoenews.com/2018/11/04/will-dr-pridgeon-end-up-with-compo/?fbclid=IwAR12mbUNGipIw5uhg3u7pCmX4EyQc269fsVfI6kUdd-XBmZ05v4EeaRk-Eo

You must be logged in to comment due to spam issues.