Terror suspect loses deportation appeal

An Algerian terror suspect has lost his appeal against the Home Office’s attempts to send him back to his home country.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SAIC) ruled that the man, identified only as Y, was a danger to national security and should be deported.

It also accepted the Home Office’s argument that sending the man back was not in breach of human rights law, which state that a person cannot be sent to a place where they may face torture or ill-treatment.

“We give some weight to the assurances received in December 2005 about how he would be treated were he returned to face a retrial … and to the verbal assurances which have been received,” the SIAC said.

Home secretary John Reid welcomed the judgment as a vindication of his position, but Amnesty International condemned it as an “affront to justice”.

The man concerned was acquitted last year of any involvement in the ‘ricin plot’ to distribute the deadly poison in north London and released from custody.

But he was re-arrested at a later date and has been held pending deportation on national security grounds.

Today’s failed challenge is likely to impact upon the fate of the 15 other Algerian terror suspects who the government is trying to deport on the grounds of national security.

In a statement, Mr Reid said: “I welcome this judgment for two reasons. First because the court agreed this individual is a danger to national security and should be deported.

“Second because the court recognised that Algeria has changed so as to allow us to deport this individual without jeopardising his human rights, thanks to the Algerian Charter on Peace and National Reconciliation and the assurances we have received from the Algerian government.”

But Amnesty’s Europe director, Nicola Duckworth, said the proceedings of the SIAC – which are held partly in secret – were “profoundly unfair”.

“Amnesty International has extensively documented the persistence of torture of people thought to possess information about terrorism by Algerian security forces,” she said.

“Given the extensive evidence before the SIAC that Y would face a real risk of torture if deported to Algeria, today’s decision can only be described as an affront to justice and wrong.”

Lawyers for Y have until September 29th to appeal the ruling.