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Judicial inquiry not needed in Haneef case: Howard
Melbourne, Aug 3 (PTI) Australian Prime Minister John Howard today said there was no need for a judicial inquiry into Indian doctor Mohamed Haneef's case following a ruling by the High Court which upheld new anti-terrorism laws.

The High Court ruled yesterday that a terrorism law used to impose an interim control order on terrorism suspect Joseph Terrence Thomas was constitutionally valid.

The court ruled that the section of the anti-terrorism laws relating to control orders was supported at least by the defence power in the constitution.

Thomas was cleared of terrorism charges by a court last year but judged by authorities to still pose a potential terrorist threat.

Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has called for an independent judicial inquiry into the handling of Haneef's case in which charges were dropped.

But Howard said there was no need for an inquiry because the terrorism laws already had passed an important test. "We don't need a judicial inquiry, that is a politically inspired call by Rudd," Howard said on a local tv network.

"I think the great litmus test of the new anti-terrorism laws was yesterday's decision by the High Court of Australia, upholding the control order legislation. I am very pleased that the High Court has ruled in favour of the constitutionality of those laws and I think that demonstrates that the laws were soundly based," he said.

Howard also denied any prior knowledge of an Indian police file on Haneef which alleged he had links with terrorist group al-Qaeda.

The Indian doctor was released from custody Friday last after terror charges against him in connection with the failed car bombings in the UK were dropped.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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