Kevin Andrews didn’t say as much during the interview by PM, but his tone of voice spoke volumes. Mohamed Haneef will never be allowed a Visa to re-enter Australia and complete his medical training as long as Kevin Andrews arse points earthward.
The Feds didn’t get their own way by keeping Haneef locked up, there was no bogey-man terrorist case to answer, and now, with the Federal Court ruling that a wrong test was applied in law by the Minister for Immigration and quashing the removal of Haneef’s Visa, there’s a lot of egg on very few faces. To be exact, on Kevin Andrews dial alone. The man made a wrong call, and now cannot go back on that call for fear of being proven unfit for the job. Clearly, this Haneef affair was an attempt by government to raise a scare campaign using Haneef as the scapegoat. Now it’s plain the tactic has failed and miserably so.
Naturally, Andrews and his department is going to appeal. They have to or tacitly admit to a failure in judgement, or worse. Interestingly, Kevin Andrews refers continually to the ‘Chan case’ yet the Chan case deals with a Refugee Review Tribunal case, not one of alleged terrorism, which is essentially a criminal issue. Interestingly I note the following commentary on this case, on the Government Solicitor’s website:
Having attributed relatively little weight to some of the evidence, the decision-makers must have discarded that evidence when coming to a final view on the facts. In effect, said the Federal Court, the decision-makers had applied a balance of probabilities test. In light of the High Court’s decision in Chan, this was an error of law.
Balance of probabilities test, indeed. One wonders just how prudent Andrews’ analysis of probabilities was in his assessment of the Haneef case, or did he simply follow orders and rescind the Visa because he was told to? No word from John Winston Howard today on this judgement. He’s content to let Andrews take the rap. Mohamed Haneef will never get back into Australia on a work Visa, or any other kind of Visa most likely. Not while the Howardian Cabal is in power at any rate. In the meantime, we’ll see appeal after appeal until the Feds get what they want. A decision they can hold up and claim vindication from. All at taxpayer expense. Aaaah, the power of incumbency.