Four members of Rochdale grooming gang could be deported to Pakistan
The men have lost appeals against a move by to strip them of British citizenship as a first step to deportation
Ringleader Shabir Ahmed and Adil Khan, Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz could soon be sent back to their home country of Pakistan after immigration judges rejected their appeals against a move to strip them of British citizenship.
Paedophile Ahmed, 63, had previously tried and failed to overturn his convictions at a European court, arguing his trial was unfair because all the members of the jury were white.
The four men have now lost appeals against a move by then Home Secretary Theresa May to strip them of British citizenship as a first step to deportation.
The men’s claims were dismissed on all grounds by the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
The ruling paves the way for the men, all of Pakistani nationality who acquired British citizenship by naturalisation, to be removed from the UK.
It is not yet known how long it will take to deport them - and there are concerns there may be a few more hurdles to overcome.
A senior source told the M.E.N. there are worries deportation may be tricky because of concerns over Pakistani criminals bribing their way out of jail.
The government wants Ahmed, Aziz and Khan, who are still behind bars, to serve the rest of their terms in Pakistan.
Many prisoners transferred to the country have reportedly been released by ‘corrupt’ officials.
The UK/Pakistani prisoner transfer agreement, set up to ensure criminals continue their sentences once deported, is currently considered redundant.
There are suggestions UK officials may have no choice but to allow the men to stay in the country if they think there is a risk of them bribing their way out of prison because Pakistani children could be put in danger of abuse.
There are also concerns more appeals could see the legal battle drag on even longer.
He is now calling for ministers to seek assurances from Pakistani officials that Ahmed, Aziz and Khan will complete their sentences if they are returned.
Speaking about the court decision, Mr Danczuk said: “I’m pleased this decision has finally been made. It’s been some time coming.
“I pressed Theresa May when she was Home Secretary to send these disturbing criminals back to serve their sentences.
“I also wrote to the Justice Minister last November to press the issue. We cannot have criminals like these hiding behind human rights laws in an attempt to serve their time in Britain instead of their country of origin.
“Now the wheels are in motion, we need to have them removed from the UK quickly.”
Handing down the judgment, Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey said the cases were ‘of some notoriety’, and described the men’s crimes as ‘shocking, brutal and repulsive’.