Sunday, July 22, 2007

Haneef - High Farce of Politics

The case of accused terrorist Dr Mohamed Haneef just keeps twisting.

Last week, the media revealed

  • his phone SIM card was not found in the car used in a terrorist act in Britain, but was found nearly more than 300 km away, 8 hours later.
  • the prosecution case against Haneef relied heavily on, and the Magistrate was told, his SIM card was in the car
  • none of The AFP, the Prosecutor's office, or the politicians were willing to correct the mistake
  • within hours of bail being granted, and before it could be posted, the politicians intervened and used the Minister's "discretion" to revoke his visa and put him in detention. The migration Act makes it clear that natural justice is not a requirement of Ministerial discretion.
  • significant differences between what the prosecution alleged Haneef said in his interview, and what he did actually say.

The last piece of information has resulted in law societies, barristers, Senior Counsel, and former judges commenting that the case against Dr Haneef has effectively collapsed. The whole shebang is farcical.

Further, the government's response to the leaking of Dr Haneef's interview transcript was typical of John Howard's government:
  • if there's a problem, shoot the messenger. An assortment of Government Ministers criticised the barrister who leaked the interview transcript.
  • if there's a problem, it's not OUR problem: the same Ministers refused to give further advice, referring questions to the AFP

With respect to the Minister's decision to detain Dr Haneef, the government's operation is:

  • pick a position that is politically expedient
  • even when they know it's wrong; the media report it's wrong; and the voting public know it's wrong, defend it to the death. Even though it's wrong.

That's how they operate.

Today, given the almost certain collapse of the charge against Dr Haneef, someone has "leaked" to the media that Dr Haneef was possibly learning to fly and had pictures of Brisbane buildings. The voting public will think, and surely be reminded of the events of 9/11. The politics of fear has John Howard written all over it.