Sometimes when one is trying to get a client bail, the prosecutors will tell you that even if your client gets bail, the Immigration Minister will cancel their visa and have them deported. There can be no complaint about that – the prosecutors are doing their job and informing you, so you and your client can make a decision on whether or not to continue to apply for bail.

But that is not what appears to have happened in the case of Gold Coast doctor Mohammed Haneef. As Hedley Thomas reveals with the publication of an email from AFP officer David Craig in this morning’s Australian, on the day (Saturday, 14 July) that the DPP and Dr Haneef’s lawyers were arguing the toss over whether or not bail should be granted in this case, the AFP was working on a plan for “containing Dr Haneef and detaining him under the Migration Act if it is the case he is granted bail on Monday”. We all know what happened – bail was granted on Monday 16 July by Magistrate Jacqui Payne and Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews then held his infamous media conference to announce he was cancelling Dr Haneef’s visa.

This email raises a series of questions which must be answered.

Firstly, did Mr Prendergast, a senor AFP officer, brief his Commissioner Mick Keelty on the plan to detain Dr Haneef if the bail application was successful?

Secondly, did the DPP’s lawyers know of the plan when they were arguing against bail being granted on Saturday 14 July, and if they did, why didn’t they tell Dr Haneef’s lawyers?

Thirdly, is Mr Andrews’ statement today that he knew nothing of the plan credible given that he is the Minister for Immigration and there would be no point putting a plan to detain Dr Haneef in place without knowing that the Minister, the only one who could approve such a detention, was going to play ball?

Finally, how credible is Mick Keelty’s claim to The Bulletin a fortnight ago that he told the DPP that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Haneef when his own officers are hatching a plan to use the Migration Act to detain Haneef if he got bail?

Oh what a mess for Mick Keelty and Kevin Andrews – one of their own doing it seems.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey