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Australia drops UK car bomb terror charges against Haneef

[JURIST] Australian Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg [official profile] ordered the dismissal of a terror charge [JURIST report] against Dr. Mohammad Haneef [JURIST news archive] Friday. Bugg said that after personally reviewing all materials [JURIST report] in the case, there was insufficient evidence [press release] to establish that Haneef had recklessly provided material support to terrorists by leaving a subscriber identity module (SIM) [Wikipedia backgrounder] with his second cousin, one of the alleged bombers in the attempted June UK car bomb attacks [JURIST report]. Bugg also admitted that a government prosecutor submitted two errors of fact in criminal court proceedings against Haneef, one allegedly caused by the prosecutor's "misunderstanding of the facts" of where the SIM card was discovered and the second caused by incorrect materials submitted to the prosecutor by the Australian Federal Police [official website]. The prosecutor had stated that the SIM card was found in vehicles used in the bombing, and that Haneef had resided with the UK terror suspects, neither of which was true.

Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews [official website] has said that Haneef will be released from immigration custody and granted home detention [BBC News report], but has insisted that the evidence and information used to revoke Haneef's work visa remains valid [press release]. Andrews said Friday that "nothing that has been revealed to me in the last 24 or 48 hours" [transcript] has led him to believe that his determination that Haneef was a security threat to Australia was "inappropriate or incorrect" and that the ministry will continue with deportation proceedings against Haneef. Lawyers and rights groups have rebuked the Australian government's handling of the case and Haneef's continued detention. Haneef was granted bail on the criminal charge last week but immediately held under immigration detention [JURIST report] after Andrews revoked Haneef's work visa on the grounds that Haneef had "associations with people who have been involved in criminal conduct." Haneef is currently appealing the visa revocation and deportation at the Federal Court of Australia [official website]. Haneef's next hearing is scheduled for August 8. AP has more.

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