Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Thursday, September 30, 1999 Published at 17:29 GMT 18:29 UK


Straw loses cleric deportation battle

Shafiq ur Rehman is pictured second from right

Home Secretary Jack Straw has been refused permission to appeal against a tribunal ruling stopping him from ordering the deportation of a Muslim cleric.

The newly-established Special Immigration Appeals Commission upheld its decision earlier this month that Shafiq ur Rehman should not be returned to his native Pakistan after he was accused of acting as a terrorist mastermind.

[ image: The Oldham mosque where Shafiq ur Rehman is based]
The Oldham mosque where Shafiq ur Rehman is based
But Home Office officials immediately indicated they could still approach the Court of Appeal directly in their attempt overturn the groundbreaking judgment, delivered by High Court judge Mr Justice Potts.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "Today's hearing was to seek leave to appeal against the Commission's original decision. That leave was refused.

"We are now considering whether we will take that appeal (against the original decision) to the Court of Appeal."

Terrorism allegations

Father-of-two Mr Rehman, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, was accused of trying to raise funds for a Holy War in Indian Kashmir and recruiting British Muslims to undergo military training to join guerillas in the province.

Lawyers for the cleric, who was unsuccessfully targeted as an informer by MI5, claimed the deportation order was a punishment for his refusal to co-operate with the authorities.

Speaking after Thursday's hearing in central London, Sibghat Kadri QC, for Mr Rehman, said: "The tribunal has decided that its original decision was hard and fast and yet the Home Office is still considering whether to appeal. They should accept the decision."

Mr Kadri also criticised a decision by the Lord Chancellor's Department not to grant Mr Rehman legal aid for his case, saying the tribunal had pointed out that the cleric should be properly represented for a legally important case.

The ruling, which has wide-ranging implications for Government attempts to crack down on alleged sponsorship of international terrorism from Britain, was the first by the tribunal in its role to adjudicate on deportations ordered on national security grounds.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland

Relevant Stories

20 Aug 99 | UK
Anger over MI5 attempt to recruit cleric

18 Aug 99 | UK
Muslim cleric defends fundraising

15 Aug 99 | UK
Muslim cleric fights deportation order

17 Aug 99 | UK
UK denies 'retaliation' over Muslim cleric

Internet Links

Home Office

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online