Crikey has brought to my attention a media statement by the Australian Federal Police regarding the Mohammed Haneef case. In part it reads:
AFP Professional Standards has investigated suspected leaks to the media and is satisfied that there has been no unlawful disclosure of information by AFP members. The matters identified as possible inappropriate conduct by officials of other agencies will be referred to the appropriate authorities.
The AFP has acted appropriately throughout the investigation.
Well that’s good then. Some “other agencies” are to blame.
However the statement also says:
The continuing attempts by Dr Haneef’s defence team 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.
Uhuh. And how about an equivalent sentence complaining about the government’s attempts to use the media to run their case? Yes, Ruddock and Andrews, I’m looking at you. Is your behaviour not also “both unprofessional and inappropriate”? No, no equivalent set of words? Oh.
I was under the impression that in Western democracies the police (as well as the “other agencies”) were there to independently uphold the rule of law, not act as the minions of the government of the day. Silly me.
By any measure, the arrest and detention of Dr Mohammed Haneef on terrorism charges turned into a debacle. Much has already been written about it — and there’ll be a lot more to come, rest assured. The question that interests me right now, though, is who’ll wear the blame?
The new poll on my website asks a simple question: Who should be sacked?
- Federal police commissioner Mick Keelty? News today is that he’s blaming everyone else — but his organisation was in charge of the investigation, wasn’t it?
- Damian Bugg QC, Director of Public Prosecutions. While he did step in eventually, you’d have thought that in such a politically-sensitive case he’d have been involved from the start.
- Kevin Andrews, Minister for Immigration. Dear dear dear, Kevin, first WorkChoices and now this. Last week’s poll suggested you’d be first voted off the island, and it’s looking even more likely now.
- Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock, for sticking his oar into the mess.
- and I’ve made some other suggestions too.
If you vote, also feel free to post some comments here explaining your choice.
Australia’s Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock says new laws will give a limited form of protection to journalists who comply with their code of ethics by refusing to reveal their sources in court. Like all such things, I’m sure the devil will be in the details… watch this space!