What went wrong with the investigation into innocent terrorism suspect Dr Mohamed Haneef? How can we prevent similar mistakes from occurring in the future? Do we need a better model for conducting public enquiries? What would that look like?

WHO: The Hon. John Clarke QC, Chair, Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef
WHAT: Commonwealth Ombudsman conference dinner
WHERE: Hotel Realm—18 National Circuit, Barton ACT
WHEN: 6:00 pm on Wednesday, 23 September 2009

MEDIA ARE INVITED to attend the keynote address of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s 2009 national conference, Good > Better > Best—Changes in public integrity, by the Hon. John Clarke QC, Chair of the inquiry into the case of Dr Haneef.

Background

  • On 2 July 2007, less than 48 hours after a failed attempt to bomb Glasgow airport in Scotland, Dr Haneef was arrested at Brisbane airport in Australia on suspicion of terror-related activities.
  • Dr Haneef was of interest because the UK police thought that a SIM card registered in his name may have been used by his second cousin to plan the Glasgow attack.
  • On 14 July 2007, Dr Haneef was charged with one offence of recklessly providing support to a terrorist organisation. The charge was dropped on 27 July 2007.
  • The Australian Government cancelled Dr Haneef’s visa on 16 July 2007, making him an unlawful non-citizen and subject to immigration detention. The cancellation of his visa was overturned by the Federal Court on 21 August 2007.
  • Dr Haneef was held in custody from the time of his arrest until the charge was dropped. He was held without charge for 12 days.
  • The Haneef case attracted enormous media attention and public interest.
  • In March 2008, the Hon. John Clarke QC was appointed to chair an inquiry into the arrest, detention, charging, prosecution and release of Dr Haneef.
  • The Clarke inquiry, finalised in November 2008, examined the conduct of the Australian Federal Police, staff of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as officers of the Department of Immigration and its former minister.
  • Following the report, the Attorney-General announced an inquiry by the Australian Law Reform Commission into royal commissions and other forms of inquiry.

Media contact: Media 02 6276 3759

Date of release: 22 September 2009