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Australia lifts travel ban for Haneef after prosecutors drop terror charge

[JURIST] [JURIST Australian Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews [official website] told reporters Saturday that the Australian government has given Dr. Mohammad Haneef [JURIST news archive] permission to leave Australia, reversing a previous decision to place the former terror suspect under home detention [BBC report]. Haneef's transfer to home detention followed the Australian chief prosecutor's decision Friday to drop the terror charge [JURIST report] Haneef faced in connection with June's attempted UK car bomb attacks [JURIST report]. Haneef, who has not been implicated by UK authorities in the attacks, departed for Bangalore, India shortly after Andrews' announcement. Haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo said that Australian immigration authorities have made the lifting of restrictions on Haneef's travel conditional upon Haneef not speaking to the media or allowing himself to be photographed. Russo said that Haneef will continue his appeal against the revocation of his work visa at the Federal Court of Australia [official website]. Haneef's next hearing is scheduled for August 8.

On Friday, Australian Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg ordered the dismissal of a charge of reckless material support for terrorists [JURIST report] against Haneef due to insufficient evidence [press release]. Lawyers and rights groups have rebuked the Australia government's handling of the case and its continued detention of Haneef after he was granted bail on criminal charges last week. Andrews revoked Haneef's work visa on the grounds that Haneef had "associations with people who have been involved in criminal conduct" and placed Haneef under immigration detention [JURIST report]. AP has more. AAP has local coverage.

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