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Oz Immigration Minister won't block Haneef's visa    2007-12-21 05:18:01    

Melbourne, Dec 21 : Australia's Immigration Minister Chris Evans has said that he will take no action to cancel the work visa of Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef after it was effectively reinstated by the full bench of the Federal Court today.
Australia's Immigration Minister Chris Evans has said that he will take no action to cancel the work visa of Indian born doctor Mohamed Haneef after it was effectively reinstated by the full bench of the Federal Court today.

Evans said that he had reviewed the latest Australian Federal Police information on Dr Haneef, and found that there was no basis to cancel his visa on character grounds.

"I formed the judgement there was no basis for me to seek to move to cancel Dr Haneef's visa," he said in Perth.

"The effect of that is that Dr Haneef's visa stands as valid. Dr Haneef is, therefore, entitled to return to this country and take up employment in accordance with his 457 visa," Evans added.

He also said that he was seeking the Solicitor General's advice on the Federal Court's interpretation of the Migration Act, and had not ruled out a possible appeal to the High Court.

However, he was not inclined to pursue an appeal at this stage. The Government could also consider changes to the Migration Act, he said.

The full bench of the Federal Court, sitting in Melbourne, today dismissed an appeal lodged by the Australian Government lawyers against a Justice Jeffrey Spender's decision to reinstate Dr Haneef's visa.

Haneef is now free to return to work in Australia, Evans said.

Former federal Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews cancelled Dr Haneef's visa on character grounds after terror-related charges were laid against him. Those charges were later dropped.

Dr Haneef, a registrar at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested and charged in July in connection with the Glasgow terror attacks and later deported by the Howard Government, despite the charges being dropped for lack of evidence.

Dr Haneef was arrested at Brisbane Airport on July 2, shortly after the failed UK terrorist plot, but a charge of providing support to terrorism was dropped later.

The charges were dropped less than two weeks later after Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions announced there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction.

Dr Haneef has spent most of the past five months at his home in Bangalore, but Russo has repeatedly said that he wants to return to work on the Gold Coast.

Dr Haneef is presently in Mecca in Saudi Arabia on the annual pilgrimage, reported. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI

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