Essex

Stansted Airport Iraqi hijacker's case to be reviewed

An Iraqi man jailed for his part in the hijacking of an aircraft in 1996 has won the latest round of a 16-year battle against deportation.

Mustafa Abdul Hussain was among a group of seven hijackers who flew a Sudan Airways Airbus to Stansted Airport.

All were arrested and jailed but their convictions were quashed a year later.

Mr Hussain was denied "indefinite leave to remain" but the High Court in London has now ruled this Home Office decision was "flawed" and should be reviewed.

Judge Dingemans said Mr Hussain was part of a group which hijacked the airliner - which had 197 people on board - after it left Sudan on 27 August 1996.

Mr Hussain, and others, surrendered at Stansted and claimed asylum before being arrested.

Mr Hussain was a Shiite Muslim from Basra and his family had suffered at the hands of the Iraqi regime headed by Saddam Hussein.

He had been accused of refusing to serve in the Iraqi army, detained without trial, tortured and sentenced to death.

Treated inconsistently

In a witness statement he told Judge Dingemans: "We had no choice but attempt to leave the country in the manner that we did by hijacking the Sudanese Airbus."

Mr Hussain was challenging a Home Office decision to refuse indefinite leave taken in October 2011.

He complained that others involved in the hijacking had been granted indefinite leave to remain and he had been treated inconsistently.

The judge concluded that the Home Office decision was flawed because ministers had ignored "relevant matters" and because other people involved with the hijacking had been given indefinite leave to remain.

Judge Dingemans said the case would be remitted to the Home Office for reconsideration.

Home Office ministers had resisted Mr Hussain's claim and denied "any unlawfulness" in their decision-making process.

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