This story is still moving along. Now it seems that late yesterday (Wednesday 18 July) the lawyer for Dr Haneef admitted that he had leaked transcripts of an interrogation of his client to the news media. The lawyer, Stephen Keim, is also going on the offensive, accusing the Australian Federal Police and others of also leaking material damaging to his client.
The barrister made some strong comments to the media today (19 July):
Mr Ruddock said he would investigate what sanctions were possible against Mr Keim, but the Brisbane barrister said the outrage was selective in that neither the Government nor the AFP had condemned several leaks of material damaging to Dr Haneef. “My client has been subject to a barrage of leaks,” Mr Keim said.He said he was bemused by the assertions of Mr Keelty in circumstances where an aggressive campaign of leaking, selectively and misleadingly, from the same document and other allegedly secret documentation held by law-enforcement agencies had been perpetrated in recent weeks.
“These leaks could only have been motivated by a desire by those perpetrating them to suggest to the Australian public that the case against Dr Haneef was stronger than the Australian Federal Police, through their counsel, the commonwealth DPP, had been able to put before the court,” Mr Keim said.
“I challenge the Prime Minister, his ministers, Mr Keelty and the police to produce the legal basis which would make anything I’ve done illegal.
“They know where I am. If they think I’ve done anything wrong, they can come and take me away.”
Here’s the full story of Stephen Keim’s acknowledgment from the Brisbane Times website on Wednesay 18 July.
Lawyer admits leak
Dylan Welch | July 18, 2007 – 6:33PM
The barrister representing Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef has admitted leaking restricted police documents to the media.
Stephen Keim, SC, this afternoon released a statement confirming he had released the transcript of the Australian Federal Police interview following Haneef’s arrest at Brisbane Airport on July 2.
The statement denied he had done anything wrong.
“Mr Keim said that suggestions by Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mr Keelty, and government ministers that such action involved any wrong doing on his part were completely without foundation,” the statement read.
“A record of interview conducted with a detained person pursuant to part 1C of the Crimes Act was a document to which the detainee had a statutory right under that legislation.”
Therefore there was no obligation on the detainee or anyone connected with him to keep such a document secret, the statement read.
Mr Keim said that he released the document because it provided “the full bevy of information” the AFP had concerning Haneef.
“Mr Keim said he was happy to be accountable for his actions in releasing the document to the press,” the statement read.
“However, the issue for Australia as a nation was the contents of this document and other documents in which the Commonwealth had taken opportunities to outline the evidence on which action against Dr Haneef had been taken.”
Mr Keim stated he was only responding to “an aggressive campaign of selective leaking” by the Government.
“These leaks could only have been motivated by a desire by those perpetrating them to suggest to the Australian public that the case against Dr Haneef was stronger than the Australian Federal Police, through their counsel, the Commonwealth DPP, had been able to put before the court in Dr Haneef’s bail application,” he said.
Haneef appeal hearing set down for August 8
Haneef will learn in two weeks whether he will be forced to wait in detention for his trial, after his lawyers lodged an appeal in the Federal Court in Brisbane today.
At a directions hearing this afternoon, Justice Jeffrey Spender set down Haneef’s appeal against the cancellation of his visa for hearing on August 8.
The Federal Government on Monday cancelled Haneef’s visa on character grounds after a magistrate granted the Indian doctor bail. He remains in custody.
In a surprise move, Justice Spender today questioned Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews’s interpretation of the character test used to revoke Haneef’s visa.
He questioned what grounds Mr Andrews used to justify his view that he had a reasonable suspicion that Haneef had an association with terrorists, saying that he himself would fail the character test.
“Unfortunately I wouldn’t pass the character test on your statement because I’ve been associated with people suspected of criminal conduct,” Justice Spender said to the Immigration Department’s counsel.
The Immigration Department’s counsel agreed that he wouldn’t pass the character test if he were a non-citizen.
Justice Spender also urged Mr Andrews to provide any protected information he used to make his decision, saying it would be difficult for him to make his judgment without it.
– with AAP