The Australian Federal Police (AFP) remains incapable of admitting mistakes it made during the botched investigation of former terrorism suspect Mohamed Haneef, the inquiry into the affair has been told.
In a fresh submission to the Clarke Inquiry, Dr Haneef’s legal team has slammed a long-awaited unclassified AFP submission, released last week.
In that submission, the AFP sought to distance itself from the decision to charge Haneef, blaming the move on bad advice from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Lawyer Stephen Keim told the inquiry the AFP’s submission was inadequate, leaving dozens of important questions unanswered.
“It reveals that, 15 months after Haneef’s arrest the AFP remains unable to make an objective assessment of its own performance,” he said.
“It illustrates that the AFP is unable to acknowledge matters which were done poorly.
“The submission blames others for anything that went wrong.
“The submission is also important for what it fails to address.”
Haneef was arrested in Brisbane last year over suspected links to botched terrorism attacks in Britain, and detained for 12 days without being charged.
He was charged on July 14, but the case against him collapsed. The charge was later withdrawn, and Dr Haneef was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing.
Keim said the new information in the AFP’s submission was of “no operational or security significance”.
“It is difficult to understand why there has been such a delay in releasing the submission,” he said.
Keim criticised the AFP’s decision to include in its submission details of jihadist material found during a search of Dr Haneef’s apartment.
Haneef was never questioned over the material, Keim said.
“It is surprising, to say the least, that a document which was not important enough to be the subject of a single question is now put forward as relevant evidence,” he said.
The AFP submission also failed to explain why a senior AFP officer charged Haneef, rather than the arresting officers.