LAWFUEL – The Law Newswire – Australian Immigration officials worked with Mohamed Haneef’s legal team to keep him out of the media spotlight during his final days in Australia, arranging a decoy van and secret hideaway while claiming he was free to speak openly and move around publicly, the Hindu News reported.
Haneef was mobbed by TV cameramen and supporters, as he arrived home to a hero’s welcome after the terrorism charges were dropped in Australia.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews yesterday confirmed the department had arranged for a decoy vehicle to distract media waiting for Haneef to leave the Brisbane immigration offices on Friday night after a charge he supported a terrorist organisation was dropped.
She said the department also agreed to keep secret the name of the hotel where Haneef spent Friday night and much of Saturday but denied it was done to help limit the fallout for the government.
“The decoy and safe location for Haneef and his lawyer, in fact, was done together by the department and Haneef’s legal team,” she said adding “That, as I understand, was done for Haneef to be able to have some time out of the glare and it was very much done together.”
While the minister’s spokeswoman insisted Haneef was free to speak publicly, Russo was said to have been pressured to keep quiet.