Gas Week

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Federal Government appeals against decision to set aside cancellation of Haneef visa

Posted by gasweek on 18 September, 2007

The Federal Government is appealing against a decision to set aside the cancellation of the visa of Indian doctor and cleared terror suspect Mohamed Haneef. On 21 August, Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said he would go to the High Court if necessary after Federal Court Judge Jeffrey Spender ordered Dr Haneef’s work visa be returned.

Minister’s “jurisd­ictional error”: Justice Spender claimed Andrews had fallen “into jurisd­ictional error” when he had can­celled Dr Haneef s visa on 16 July. Justice Spender said then that Parliament could not have intended to enact a law that allowed a minister to oust a person for having an innocent association with someone suspected of crimi­nal conduct. But Mr Andrews said he believed the judge was wrong and the Government would appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court. The order was stayed for 21 days.

Minister all powerful and unrepentant: Justice Spender said Andrews’ decision to cancel the visa on July 16 hinged on the contention that Dr Haneef had “an association” with terrorists — his second-cousins, British terror suspects Kafeel and Sabeel Ah­med. But in a statement yesterday, Andrews said the Australian Gov­ernment solicitor had lodged an appeal against Justice Spender’s decision to set aside Haneef’s visa cancellation. An extension to the stay on Haneef’s visa was also sought. “As Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, I made the decision to cancel Haneef’s visa in the national interest and I stand by that decision,” Andrews said in a statement. The appeal was lodged in Br­isbane’s Federal Court.

The Canberra Times, 6/9/2007, p. 5

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