islamic tower hamets muslim Tower Hamlets
judge Mitting
Judge John Mitting (SIAC)

Failed asylum seekers who cannot return home country should get free NHS treatment, a judge ruled yesterday.

Judge Mitting said attempts to make them pay were unlawful. The ruling was made after a Palestinian man with chronic liver disease brought his case to London's High Court.

It means around 11,000 other failed asylum seekers could now be entitled to free treatment. The Department of Heath is expected to appeal.

More on Judge Mitting


Judge Mitting does it again!

A man allegedly connected to Osama bin Laden who was once one of the world's most wanted terrorists has been freed on bail.

Although his name has been widely used in the past he can only be referred to as "U" under a court order which also bans any reference to the date he was released or the town where he was bailed to.

The order was put in place by Mr Justice Mitting, chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission which has granted his release pending a House of Lords case in October.

The judge has also banned the release of the man's bail conditions, which are likely to involve a strict curfew similar to that of the preacher abu Qatada, released last month.

U is appealing against deportation back to his native Algeria.

He was implicated in separate plots to blow up Los Angeles airport and the Christmas market in Strasbourg and is said to have "direct links to Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qa'eda figures."

The Home Office claim he was a "leading organiser and facilitator of terrorist activity."

A Foreign office note sent to U's native Algeria in 2006 said: "Senior position in Mujahedin training camp in Afghanistan. Direct links to UBL (Usama Bin Laden) and other senior AQ (Al Qaeda) figures. Involved in supporting terrorists including those involved in the planned attack on the Strasbourg Christmas Market in 2000, and an earlier plan to attack Los Angeles Airport.

"US sought his extradition but withdrew request August 2005 … DETAINED".

The Special Immigration and Appeals Commission (SIAC) said last year there were "credible grounds for believing each of these assertions."

U, who is 45, arrived in Britain from France in 1994 and claimed asylum. He left for Afghanistan in 1996, returning three years later.

He was arrested in February 2001 at Heathrow trying to board a flight to Saudi Arabia on a false passport.

It is claimed U met bin Laden at the Khalden training camp in Afghanistan which he is said to have helped run.

He was implicated in the Los Angeles Airport plot by Ahmed Ressam, who was arrested on 14 December 1999 crossing the Canadian border with a van laden with explosives which he said were destined for Los Angeles Airport.

According to SIAC documents: "Ressam said the proposed bombing of Los Angeles Airport was discussed with 'U' in Afghanistan and that, as the date of the operation approached, 'U' arranged that he would meet him in London when he had left the United States and assist him with travel to Algeria."

Ressam received a discounted sentence in return for his information but has subsequently refused to testify and the US has withdrawn its extradition request.

U admits attending a training kamp at Khalden in Afghanistan and meeting Ressam at a guest house in Jalabad but denies being a part of the plot.

But the Algerian has also been implicated in the plot to blow up Stasbourg Christmas market in December 2000.

Four men were convicted of the plot in March 2003 and the High Court in Frankfurt said: "Connections to the al-Qa'eda network could not be proven. However it was not contested that all four in the years 1999 and 2000 had received military training in Afghanistan.

"In the opinion of the court encouragement to carry out the attack, if not the actual direct order, came from fellow muslims surrounding U."

SIAC said: "All of this material, taken together, satisfies us, on balance of probabilities, that the appellant has been involved in facilitating terrorist activity overseas; and, so, in consequence poses a significant risk to national security."

The Home Office said today: "It is our position that individuals who are not British nationals who pose a threat to the national security of the UK should be deported.