Doctor denies role in car bomb attacks
James Grubel – Reuters July 18, 2007
An Indian doctor charged in Australia with supporting terrorism has denied any prior knowledge of the failed car bomb attacks in Britain and told police he was not involved in any plot.
The doctor, Mohamed Haneef, also said he tried four times to contact British police after learning his mobile phone SIM card had been linked to the June attacks, but his calls went unanswered.
"I'm clear from any of the things. I haven't done any of the crimes. I don't want to spoil my name and my profession," Haneef said.
The comments were in a 141-page record of a police interview with Haneef, conducted on July 3, the day after he was detained as he was about to leave Australia for India.
The Australian newspaper published the leaked transcript on its website on Wednesday.
The leak has angered the Australian government and the Australian Federal Police, who said the publication of the interview would undermine court proceedings.
Haneef is charged with recklessly supporting terrorism by providing a relative in Britain with his mobile phone SIM card.
He has not entered a plea to the charges, but is seeking to overturn a government decision to cancel his visa and keep him locked up in an immigration detention centre after a magistrate earlier said he could be released on bail.
Police in Britain have charged two people over the attacks, including Haneef's cousin Sabeel Ahmed, 26.
Another cousin, Kafeel Ahmed, is under police guard in hospital after being badly burned when a jeep was driven into an airport terminal in Glasgow and set ablaze on June 30.
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the leak undermined the legal process and could represent a contempt of court.
"It has undermined the prosecution," Keelty told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
"We now have a published document that has provided information that should never have been provided until a court has an opportunity to hear it for the first time and test the veracity of that evidence."
Haneef's lawyer, Stephen Keim, said in a statement he had released the transcript of the documents to the newspaper, and said he had no legal obligation to keep the transcript secret.
In the July 3 interview, Haneef is quizzed about his time working as a young doctor in Britain, financial transactions between Australia and Britain, and how his mobile phone SIM card ended up with Sabeel.
Haneef said he had a month left on his mobile phone contract when he left Britain for Australia in July 2006, so he gave the SIM card to his cousin, who he said was planning to change the account into his own name.
After the Glasgow attack, Haneef said he was phoned by Sabeel's mother, who told him of the arrest and that a British investigating agent wanted to speak to him about his mobile phone.
Haneef said he then tried to ring the British agent, but his calls went unanswered.
Asked why he tried to contact the British investigators, Haneef said: "Because she said to me that there was something wrong with your mobile phone, someone was misusing the thing".
Haneef said that during his time in Britain, he also met with Kafeel Ahmed, and stayed with him briefly at Cambridge University in mid 2004 and again in November 2004.
Haneef said he had no interest in politics, and did not want to talk about the situation in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He said he had never received any weapons training, and had never been asked to consider involvement in a Jihad.
Asked how he felt about the attacks in Britain, Haneef replied: "Every drop of blood is human blood. And I feel for every human being.”
Last updated 29/07/2007