A wheelchair-bound Algerian terror suspect linked to Osama Bin Laden has won his 21-year legal battle to live in the UK in the latest blow to the Government’s efforts to expel foreign jihadists.
Now a judge has ruled that the threat of deportation has affected his mental health and quashed the Home Office refusal to grant him the right to indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The judge has also overturned government restrictions which had forced him to stay at his home address and report to a police station once a month. He is also to be allowed to study Algebraic Thinking at the Open University.
The case is another blow for the Home Secretary Amber Rudd who lost a series of court cases involving the deportation of terror suspects last year.
The man who can only be referred to as ‘G’ came to the UK to claim asylum in August 1995 using a false French passport. But in 2001 the Government decided to deport him after evidence emerged that he was a suspected terrorist and a risk to national security.
The Home Office claimed he was an active supporter of the Algerian terrorist group Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC) ‘which has links to Usama Bin Laden’s terrorist network.’
The Government further alleged: ‘Your activities on behalf of the group and of extremist fighters in Chechnya include sponsoring young Muslims in the UK to go to Afghanistan to train for Jihad.”
In his long running legal battle he twice lost appeals to his deportation but because of human rights laws the Government has been unable to remove him to Algeria.
Now in a ruling on December 16th by the Special Immigration Appeals Commision, Mr Justice Collins said that G no longer poses a risk to national security and that limiting his right to live in the UK threatened his mental health.
Mr Justice Collins said:
… I am satisfied as is shown by the history that there is now no reasonable need for limited leave. The possibility of removal is remote in the extreme.
While I am not persuaded that the effect of maintaining short leave and conditions is to breach Article 3 of the ECHR, there can be no question that that is having an adverse effect on his mental health.
Overall, I have no doubt that the time has come when to maintain limited leave because of the supposed need for conditions is unreasonable.’
It follows that the decision letter must be quashed and reconsideration must be given to the claimant’s application having regard to what I have said in this judgment. The condition restricting his ability to leave his address for the named period is unlawful, but I doubt that that unlawfulness carries with it a claim for damages.
Since there is no risk of absconding, reporting requirements are unreasonable.
A spokesman for the Home Office said the Government had received the judgement and was considering its options.