THE LAW COUNCIL has asked the Minister for Immigration to grant a bridging visa to Dr Mohamed Haneef while the terrorism charges he faces prevent him from being deported.
Law Council president Tim Bugg said Haneef had opted for detention in a Brisbane jail instead of at an immigration centre in Sydney to ensure he remains close to his advisers.
“In reality, he is not in detention because of the charges against him or because he has been deemed a threat to the community. He is in detention because he no longer has a valid visa,” Bugg said.
He said the Migration Act specifically states that where a minister has cancelled a person’s visa because they failed the character test, but it is impractical to deport the person immediately, the minister can grant a temporary Bridging Visa R Class WR.
“After hearing evidence and robust arguments from both sides, a court has already decided that Dr Haneef is not a flight risk and is not a threat to the community,” Bugg said in a statement.
“Surely on that basis Kevin Andrews can be satisfied that a bridging visa should be issued.
“If Mr Andrews’ decision was made for a proper purpose, then his aim was not to detain Dr Haneef but to deport him. That not being a likely prospect in the near future, he should consider issuing a bridging visa.”
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