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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 July 2007, 01:46 GMT 02:46 UK
Cleared doctor leaves Australia
Mohamed Haneef
Dr Haneef's legal team want to get his work visa reinstated
An Indian doctor has left Australia after charges linked to failed bomb attacks in the UK were dropped.

Dr Mohamed Haneef is flying to India to be with his wife and child after nearly four weeks in custody.

He was freed from prison on Friday and his passport was later returned to him, but his work visa was not restored.

The charges against Dr Haneef were dropped after Australia's chief prosecutor said there had been mistakes made in the investigation.

Lawyers for Dr Haneef said they wanted his name cleared completely, and demanded the restoration of his work visa.

This was withdrawn on the grounds that Dr Haneef was said to be of unsuitable character.

Visa appeal

Dr Haneef's lawyer said that his client had left Australia voluntarily and was not deported.

"He had a choice of either staying until the hearing was concluded or going back to be with his wife and child on a voluntary basis and he chose to go back voluntarily," Peter Russo was quoted by Australia's ABC News as saying.

Dr Haneef told reporters he was "fine, thank you", during a stopover at Bangkok.

He did not leave the airport, but waited in a transit area for an onward flight to India.

Mr Russo said his client would continue with a court appeal in August to have his work visa restored.

The case threw new anti-terror laws under the spotlight and triggered concern from both legal and civil rights groups.

Lack of evidence

The case was withdrawn during a hearing at Brisbane court on Friday at the request of Director of Public Prosecutions Damian Bugg.

Activists hold a banner outside the Immigration Department in Sydney, 18 July 2007, calling for the release of Dr Haneef
The case triggered concern from both legal and civil rights groups
He later told a news conference that a review of the case found that there was no reasonable prospect of convicting Dr Haneef on the evidence available.

Prosecutors had claimed that the doctor's mobile phone SIM card had been found in the burning car that crashed into Glasgow international airport on 30 June.

But it later emerged the card had actually been found in a flat in Liverpool, some 300km (185 miles) from Glasgow, where his cousin lived.

Dr Haneef had been working at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland when he was detained trying to board a flight to India on 2 July.

It came days after two cars containing petrol, gas cylinders and nails were discovered in London, and a burning car was driven into Glasgow airport.

Three people have been charged over the failed bombings in the UK, including Dr Haneef's second cousin Sabeel Ahmed.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
How the Australian police investigation was criticised



SEE ALSO
Haneef terrorism charges dropped
27 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia's Indian doctors feel the heat
24 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Prosecutor to review Haneef case
25 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia terror laws under scrutiny
19 Jul 07 |  Asia-Pacific




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