Trumped-up “terrorism” charge?

Dr Haneef has been charged with “recklessly providing resources, a sim card, to a terrorist organisation.”

This seems a very thin charge. It must be open to suspicion that the charge is simply a way of sidestepping the increasing restiveness about Haneef’s detention without charge and to keep him in detention. I bet bail will be opposed under section 15AA of the Crimes Act which provides that:

“a bail authority must not grant bail to a person (the defendant ) charged with, or convicted of, an offence covered by subsection (2) [which includes “a terrorism offence”] unless the bail authority is satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify bail”

Haneef was already reported to have said that he gave the phone to his cousin because his cousin wanted to use the “free minutes” deal which the card had. He was leaving the country. Why wouldn’t he give the SIM card away?

I don’t know how hard it is to obtain a SIM card in the UK. Presumably there are some controls in place as there now are here, but I would have thought they could be fairly easily sidestepped. As here, I also suspect that there are still SIM cards around which were obtained before identity-controls were imposed on their acquisition, not to mention SIM cards from other countries which cannot be traced and which can be operated by their international roaming capacity. The provision of a SIM card would therefore have only have provided the most minimal of support.

The offence does not even appear to have an element of actual intention. That is, it may be simply that he was reckless in the sense that he did not take care to ensure that his cousin was not a (member of) a terrorist organisation.

Monday: Dr Haneef has been granted bail, despite the Commonwealth’s  submission (predicted above) that bail not be granted.  However, the Commonwealth has now decided to detain him using its immigration powers.

8 Responses to “Trumped-up “terrorism” charge?”

  1. Legal Eagle Says:

    Hear hear.

  2. ninglun Says:

    Me too!

  3. Dave Bath Says:

    the offence does not even appear to have an element of actual intention.

    So, as Haneef lacked intent, I suppose that lets the government off from the accusation they are prosecuting thought crime.

    Perhaps we can use the precedent of lack-of-intent-but-still-guilty to prosecute Downer for recklessly giving an ememy/terrorist state $300 million?

  4. » Off topic but important: my 2c on Haneef and the rule of law Says:

    […] more at Larvatus Prodeo, Surfdom, Troppo, Andrew Bartlett, Marcellous… 11:26 am – posted by kim. Categories: Aus , Law  Bookmark or share this […]

  5. Haneef: it’s not what he did, it’s who he knew « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] it’s not what he did, it’s who he knew Dr Haneef’s visa has been cancelled, with the consequence that, although granted bail, he apparently […]

  6. Balneus Haneef sketches : Herald-Sun racial prejudice? « Says:

    […] "The Thought Police Are Listening" at LegalSoapbox or two articles by Marcellous ("Trumped-Up Terrorism Charge" and "Haneef: It Isn’t What He Did It’s Who He Knew") discuss some of the […]

  7. Club Troppo » Missing Link - Dr Haneef Edition Says:

    […] civil liberties, and Ken Lovell considers the ‘evidence’ against Dr Haneef. Marcellous (here and here) and Legal Eagle (here) look at some of the legal aspects of the […]

  8. We ain’t that bad, really! « The Legal Soapbox Says:

    […] lawyers. But he is not alone. Look at the guys over at A Roll of the Dice in this post here, or Marcellous’ posts and Law Font’s post, just to pick a few. Many lawyers are acutely aware of the power […]

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