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Haneef contests Australian govt's claims
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | August 01, 2007 17:19 IST
Last Updated: August 01, 2007 19:09 IST
Dr Haneef Mohammad, the Indian doctor held and then released in connection with the UK terror plot said that the information provided by the
Australian Immigration minister on the chat with his brother was nothing new and he had clarified this with the police during his interrogation. He said this at a press conference on Wednesday at Bangalore.
The Australian immigration minister, Kevin Andrews that they have chat records which indicate that Haneef was aware of the UK terror plot.
Haneef said that the matter will be contested in court and stated that it is scheduled to come up for hearing in Australia on August 8. He however added that his legal team had advised him not to make any direct attacks and comment too much on the subject as it would hamper arguments before the court.
He however added that the Australian police could best answer the issue pertaining to the chat with his brother as they knew best. Haneef said that the court would decide on this matter.
Haneef's relative Imran Siddique who was present along with Haneef said that Haneef used to chat regularly with his brother. "The issue is not new and the court will decide on the matter. He said that Haneef's lawyer, Peter Russo was out of Bangalore for a couple of days and hence could not make it to the press conference. He said that Russo would be filing an affidavit to seek the transcripts of the chat. Siddique made a request to the media to urge the Australian government to make public the transcripts of the chat. However later he also added that all this was not a secret and Haneef had made his stand clear on the matter. Siddique also requested the media to grant Haneef some breathing space as he had been through a torrid time.
The press conference commenced with Haneef reading out a message in which he thanked everyone as usual. Haneef is doing this the third time since he returned to Bangalore.
After his message was read out a volley of questions followed which included his alleged link to the Al Qaeda [Images]. He said he did not wish to comment. He said, "All I want is some privacy and I want to spend time with my family.
Haneef clarified that neither he nor his family had accepted any offer from television channels for an exclusive interview. He said that there were a few offers but it had been turned down.
The rumour was that Haneef was charging Rs 30 lakh for half an hour interview and Rs 50 lakh for a one hour interview. Interviews are of least interest to me at the moment," Haneef said while assuring the media that he would address another press conference on Saturday.