BRISBANE — Former Gold Coast-based Dr Mohamed Haneef is suing former Howard government immigration minister Kevin Andrews for defamation, the July 2 Courier Mail said.
Haneef is also making a separate claim against the federal government for unlawful arrest and misconduct in public office. Haneef was arrested in July 2007 after his mobile phone SIM card was linked to failed terror attacks in Britain.
He was charged under anti-terror laws and arrested, but was released after 25 days after the case collapsed. Andrews then cancelled Haneef’s visa.
In documents filed in Brisbane Supreme Court on July 1, Haneef's lawyers said Andrews repeatedly made statements implying Haneef was a terrorist. Andews continued to do so even after ASIO said it could not link Haneef to any terrorist involvement.
Lawyer Rod Hodgson said they were already in discussion about a settlement, saying on July 1: “We do not intend to advance Dr Haneef's matter through the courts unless negotiations with the government appear unlikely to be satisfactory to Dr Haneef.”
Haneef is claiming for lost earnings and the lost opportunity to train and become a specialist physician in Australia. He is also suing for aggravated damages for false and malicious prosecution. He now lives in the United Arab Emirates.