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Haneef's colleague of greater interest to Aus cops

August 11, 2007 12:35 IST

Indian doctor Mohammed Asif Ali is of greater interest to the Australian Federal Police than his ex-colleague Mohammed Haneef, who returned to Bangalore after being absolved of terror charges over the failed car bombings in Britain, official sources said.

Ali, a Gold Coast-based doctor who was briefly detained early in July, was initially interviewed by the federal police over his relationship with Haneef, the sources were quoted as saying by The Age daily.

The federal police have since declared him a person of interest to their investigation. He is being investigated over possible connections to people with terrorist associations.

The sources said that Ali is of greater interest to the Australian Federal Police than Haneef.

The Queensland health department and the medical board are also investigating Ali, who admitted exaggerating his resume after being interviewed in connection with Haneef.

Haneef was held by police over his links to family members implicated in the failed British car bombings. A charge against him of supporting a terrorist organisation was later dropped and he left Australia.

Ali's solicitor, Neil Lawler, expected he will be sacked from the Gold Coast Hospital and may be deported.

Ali would have appeal rights if dismissed by Queensland health department. At the end of the process he would have 28 days to leave the country if he is unable to find another job.

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