Queensland Lawyers Defend Lawyers Representing Haneef Against Police Claims

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – The Queensland legal profession has defended lawyers representing Dr Mohamed Haneef against Australian Federal Police claims that they have been “unprofessional and inappropriate” in releasing a media release about police-led interviews with the doctor in July, Lawyers Weekly reports.

Haneef’s legal team last week released a 378 page transcript of an interview with police held on 13 July, having released another last month.

In a letter to the Legal Services Commissioner in Brisbane, the president of the Queensland Law Society, Megan Mahon, criticised Australian Federal Police (AFP) claims that “the continuing attempts by Dr Haneef’s defence teams to use the media to run their case is both unprofessional and inappropriate and the AFP has raised this aspect with the Queensland Legal Services Commission”.

But having sought legal advice on the matter, the QLS argued that Ryan and Bosscher Lawyers partner, Peter Russo, has breached none of the conduct rules that govern Queensland solicitors’ professional conduct.

In her letter to the Legal Services Commissioner, Mahon said Rule 19, which addresses the publication of material that is currently before the Courts, states: “19.1 A solicitor must not publish, or takes steps towards the publication of, material concerning current proceedings for which the practitioner is engaged which may prejudice a fair trial of those proceedings or prejudice the administration of justice.”

The AFP claimed last week in releasing the transcript of Haneef’s second interview with police, his lawyers had helped generate “misinformed and speculative reporting” in the media that had forced the AFP to “take extraordinary steps to correct the public record”.

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