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Special Immigrations Appeals Commission

You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> Special Immigrations Appeals Commission >> B v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2003] UKSIAC 9/2002 (29 October 2003)
Cite as: [2003] UKSIAC 9/2002

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Appeal No: SC/9/2002
Date of Judgment: 29th October 2003








The Honourable Mr Justice Ouseley, Chairman

Mr C M G Ockelton

Mr J Chester






Secretary of State for the Home Department




For the Appellant:   Mr B Emmerson QC
Mr R Hussain
Instructed by: Birnberg Peirce & Partners
Special Advocate: Mr I McDonald QC
Mr K Qureshi
Instructed by:  Mr S Trueman, Treasury Solicitor
For the Respondent: Mr W Williams QC
Mr S Catchpole QC
Instructed by:  Ms L Smith, Treasury Solicitor






1.                  B (who has used a number of aliases) is a citizen of Algeria and was born on 2nd March 1971.  He appeals under section 2(1C) of the 1997 Act against a decision to make a deportation order against him and under section 25 of the 2001 Act against the decision to certify him as a suspected international terrorist.  Both those decisions were made by the Secretary of State on 5th February 2002.  On that date, the Secretary of State also issued a certificate under section 33 of the 2001 Act that B is not entitled to the protection of Article 33(1) of the Refugee Convention because Article 1(F) or 33(2) applies to him (whether or not he would be entitled to protection if that Article did not apply), and that his removal from the United Kingdom would be conducive to the public good.




2.                  Bís immigration history is not entirely clear, partly because of the aliases he is alleged to have used.  The Secretary of State submits that, so far as relevant, it is as follows.  He was in the United Kingdom, apparently as an illegal entrant, during the autumn of 1994.  He was using a false identity, Matthew Pierre Nolidini.  He was arrested in that identity, in which he claimed to be French and to have entered the United Kingdom some two years previously.  After investigation, he was served with illegal entry papers.  He was detained for a short period of time and then released with orders to report regularly to the police.  He ceased to report at about the end of October.  He was re-arrested in 1995.  Either then or a little while previously, he made an asylum claim as Muhammad B, stating that he had entered the United Kingdom on 14th November 1994 using a French identity card to which he was not entitled.  His asylum claim was refused and an appeal to an Adjudicator was dismissed on 17th January 1996.  (There does not appear to be any doubt at all about this, although we note that in his notice of appeal to the Commission, it is stated that it is believed that B had not made any other appeal about immigration.) 


3.                  Following the dismissal of his appeal, B was detained pending removal as an illegal entrant.  On 30th October 1997, he made a fresh application for asylum.  He was granted temporary release from detention, again with a condition of reporting to the police.  He failed to report after 5th March 1998.  He was re-arrested on 12th May 1998 in possession of a counterfeit French identity card and was subsequently released.  He has been in trouble on two further occasions for motoring offences.  In August 2000, he was arrested for driving while disqualified and subsequently sentenced to three months imprisonment.  On 7th December 2001, he was arrested and charged with driving while disqualified and other associated offences.  He was sentenced to four months imprisonment.  That period of imprisonment ended on 9th February 2002.  We understand that there are (or then were) other criminal charges outstanding against him.




4.                  B did not give evidence before the Commission and, indeed, chose not to attend the hearing of his appeal.  His statement, which we have of course read, is in the most general terms, and, perhaps not surprisingly, Mr Emmersonís submissions, both written and oral, were similarly general.  Bís approach to the present proceedings of themselves and the fact that he did not give oral evidence or make any detailed written statement are not matters to be put in the scale against him.  We well understand the difficulty that Appellants have in circumstances where the allegations against them are only summarised and where much of the evidence on which those allegations are based cannot, for reasons of national security, be communicated to the Appellants themselves.  However, B is in the best position to know what his activities and motives have been in the relevant period.  Nothing prevents him from giving a full description and account of those activities if he wishes to do so.  The fact that he has chosen to provide no detailed account of his activities means that he has provided no material to counter the evidence and arguments of others.


The open case against B


5.                  The Secretary of Stateís open case against B may be summarised as follows:


(1)       he has since 1997 or 1998 belonged to the GSPC and previously belonged to the GIA;

(2)       his contact with leading GSPC members in the United Kingdom shows that he is a trusted member of the GSPC;

(3)       during 2000, he played an important role in procuring telecommunications equipment and providing logistical support required for the use of that equipment, which the Secretary of State assesses was for use by Chechen Mujahedin extremists and the GSPC in Algeria


6.                  As in Aís case, there is detailed open evidence relating to the purchase of telecommunications equipment.  There are allegations of the use of a number of false names.  There are also allegations that B has procured false documentation.  Further, there are open allegations of contact with a number of people known or assessed to have been involved in terrorist activities.




7.                  The only material part of Bís short written statement is a denial that he has been involved in terrorism or been a member of any of the groups specified in the Secretary of Stateís case.  He has elected to offer nothing more detailed, and in particular offers no explanations for the various facts mentioned in the Respondentís open case. 


8.                  In the circumstances, we see no reason to doubt the evidence in Stuart Castellís statement relating to the second person with whom he dealt.  We also accept the Security Serviceís identification of the actors mentioned in that statement.  We find as a fact that B, using a false name and working with Abu Doha, purchased a considerable amount of telecommunications equipment in the period between May 2000 and in arrest for traffic offences in August 2000, including 20 high frequency hopping radios, a portable antenna and air time for Inmarsat satellite telephones.  The Secretary of Stateís case is that he believes that that equipment was procured for use by extremists in Chechnya and by the GSPC in Algeria.  B does not himself give any explanation of his purchase of this equipment.  He does not deny an association with Abu Doha, Sofiane Kebilene (whom he succeeded as Abu Dohaís associate) and B (who succeeded him).  There is no doubt that the purchase of equipment of this sort raises certain questions;  the purchase of it in a false name raises further questions;  the association with other suspected terrorists raises further questions.  B has chosen to answer none of these questions.  In all the circumstances, we conclude that the Secretary of Stateís grounds were well-founded and reasonable.


9.                  As the open case makes clear, the Secretary of Stateís grounds were and are also based on material available to him relating to Bís other contacts.  We cannot deal with those contacts here.  Suffice it to say that there is nothing in the closed material which casts any doubt on the conclusion reached by the Secretary of State, and by us, that Bís contacts throw a flood of light on his purchase of the telecommunications equipment, and render even more reasonable the Secretary of Stateís suspicion that Bís activities were directed to supporting the GSPC and the Ibn Khattab faction in Chechnya.


10.             We find, from the open evidence of his associations and activities, that he was a member of the GIA and later became a member of the GSPC.  With Abu Doha he worked to support terrorist activities in Chechnya and elsewhere under the auspices of the GSPC.  The Secretary of Stateís suspicion that he is an international terrorist and belief that his presence here is a risk to national security are both entirely well-founded.  His detention is permitted by the derogation and proportionate.  His appeal against the section 21 certificate is also dismissed.


11.              His appeal against the decision to make a deportation order against him is also dismissed.  This is a matter in which he bears the burden of proof, and, inevitably, given the way in which he conducted his appeal, he has failed to discharge it.







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