Leaks and Whispers


The belief of the Federal Government and Australian Federal Police (AFP) that linking someone to al-Qaeda will induce a strong negative public reaction has reached its use by date although that does not seem to have registered with either the Prime Minister or the AFP Commissioner, Mick Keelty.

That is why the linking of Dr Mohamed Haneef to al-Qaeda in the bogus document displayed on last week’s SBS Dateline program has induced the strong suspicion that there are government and police fingerprints all over it.

Let me elaborate.

Thanks to Bill Leak

The ‘dossier’ put before us by SBS cannot be identified as an Indian Police dossier. There is nothing which says it is a police dossier, nowhere in the document is there any reference to police the word police does not appear. And conveniently, the dossier is undated.

At the end of the dossier it is recorded that:

The Australian police detained [Haneef] at Brisbane International Airport for questioning when he was about to depart for India in the first week of July 2007. It is learnt that a bank locker key was found in his position (sic), which belongs to someone else.

The photograph of Haneef which appears on the first page of the dossier is the same photograph which appeared in the Australian and British media immediately following his arrest. It appears to be a passport photo. Why would Indian Police use a passport photo on a police dossier? Where did they get it from?

The time line on the compilation of the dossier indicates that it was prepared after Haneef was in AFP custody. Did the AFP send the passport photo to the Indian Police or did the reverse occur? If the latter why didn’t they also send the information in the dossier relating to al-Qaeda? (Immigration Minister Andrews maintains that the al-Qaeda link when it was revealed on SBS was news to him.)

Where did the media obtain the passport photo?

Was information relating to the locker key given to the Indian Police by the AFP?

Did Brisbane Magistrate Jacqui Payne have this information available to her when she granted Haneef bail?

Following the Dateline program, Keelty said the AFP were pursuing information relating to the locker key, however, the dossier indicates that this information had been available to the Indian Police for some time.

The Indian Police interviewed Haneef on his return to Bangalore and said he was not a person of interest. Why is Keelty pursuing a line of investigation relating to the key when the Indian Police have dropped it?

The fact is the dossier is a very dodgy piece of ‘evidence,’ which looks like it has been put together post facto to smear Haneef. Dateline appears to have been used.

On the 3 August, The Joint Commissioner of Police Bangalore, Gopal Hosur, dismissed as false the report that Haneef had links with al-Qaeda.  He said that his officers had conducted an inquiry into the background of Haneef and they had found nothing incriminating.

In view of this statement, Dateline needs to provide more information on the status of the dossier.

In the light of the statement by Commissioner Hosur, we also need to know why the AFP gave credibility to allegations contained in the dossier. Is Keelty accusing the Indian Police of incompetence or of lying to protect Dr Haneef?

The way this investigation has been conducted and politicised has done harm to the Australia/India bilateral relationship and made a lot of influential people angry.

The incompetence, spinning and partisanship of the AFP has exposed them as a second-rate police force.

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Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.