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Australia drops terror case after court rules security officials breached suspect's rights

[JURIST] Australian prosecutors dismissed a terrorist training charge against Izhar Ul-Haque [CagePrisoners profile] Monday after the New South Wales Supreme Court found that two officials belonging to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) [official website] had violated his rights by kidnapping and falsely imprisoning him. Judge Michael Adams found that ASIO agents coerced Ul-Haque into a vehicle, threatened him with serious consequences unless he cooperated with the ASIO, and illegally detained him as they searched his home. The judge ruled [text] that the ASIO's misconduct meant that later interviews conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) [official website] were inadmissible because the AFP did not obtain a proper warrant to detain and question Ul-Haque at his residence. Ul-Haque allegedly received training from the Lashkar-e-Taiba [MIPT backgrounder] between January and February 2003, although the group was not designated by the Australian government as a terrorist organization until late 2003.

The decision is the latest setback for Australian anti-terror prosecutions. In August, the Federal Court of Australia ruled [text; JURIST report] that the government should reinstate the work visa of Mohammad Haneef [JURIST news archive], who was detained by Australian authorities in July in connection with the attempted UK car bomb terror attacks [JURIST report]. Haneef, who had not been implicated by UK authorities, was detained for 25 days for allegedly providing reckless material support to the suspected terrorists. The Australian government is appealing the reinstatement [JURIST report] of Haneef's work visa. Reuters has more. The Sydney Morning Herald has local coverage.

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