Sunday, July 04, 2004

Saied Ghanbarri: the story continues

To provide some background, Saied Ghanbarri has been on the run from Immigration Authorities for six years in order to avoid being deported. The Immigration Service is especially keen to deport him for not only did he successfully elude them for six years, he also was easily findable by TVNZ within six hours and had also enlisted the aid of the IRD in running his business. Now he turned himself in after questions were raised in parliament and so it would seem that his deportation would quickly follow. Right?


But Mr Ghanbari's lawyer, Colin Amery, says there are new legal matters to consider in the case, based on recent case law in England. Mr Amery says a House of Lords decision prevents the deportation of a refugee to a country where they could be deprived of their human rights.

Now I happen to know something about this "recent case law" because my brother had been involved with it. The case is Regina v. Special Adjudicator (Respondent) ex parte Ullah (FC) (Appellant) and a news report covering the outcome is here. The Lords expanded the grounds for asylum from just the risk of physical persecution to include the risks of slavery, an unfair trial or religious persecution. However Ullah was still deported because he had failed to provide evidence for religious persecution. So the outcome of the case could be said in medical terms to be "the operation was a complete success but the patient died".

So unless Saied has a damn good reason, the likely outcome is deportation. His best hope is to have the Refugee Status Appeal Authority to hear the case and be sucked in as they were in the Zaoui case (in which Zaoui's lawyers spuriously convinced them that his French and Belgian convictions for supporting Algerian Terrorists were travesties of justice).