Haneef hires law firm specialised in compensation bids
Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef is understood to have hired a law firm specialised in compensation bids to seek damages from Australian government for wrongly accusing him of involvement in the failed UK terror plot.
It follows the Australian government's announcement to hold a judicial inquiry into the bungled handling of Haneef's case by the previous administration led by John Howard.
Quoting Haneef's lawyer Peter Russo, an Australian Associated Press report said a law firm with specialisation in compensation bids has been appointed to seek restitution for the Indian doctor over his treatment by Australian authorities last year.
"We need somebody to be looking at it with expertise in the area," Russo was quoted as saying, adding that the firm's identity would be revealed on Monday.
"There could be information that comes out of the inquiry which either assists the claim or puts it to bed once and for all," he said.
Haneef had suffered enormously since the allegations were made against him, Russo said and asked "how do you restore his reputation after what has been going on? "He's lost his job and has to start again."
All of the agencies involved in Haneef's case have agreed to cooperate with the judicial inquiry, including former Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews.
Russo said Haneef would cooperate as long as it did not become like the police interrogation he endured while in custody.
"The inquiry is about what happened to him and he personally should not be the person being investigated," he said.
Haneef has been struggling financially, Russo said, adding "we are in the process of trying to recover some costs from the Australian government solicitor but it has not really been sorted out and may never be sorted out."
Russo said "if he (Haneef) was an Australian citizen he would have been able to go to work months ago."
"The government needs to look at work visas because the fact they can be pulled at anytime would be adding instability to people who come here for work," he said.
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