The High Court has directed the Minster for Justice to reconsider his refusal to revoke a deportation order made against an Algerian man with alleged links to Islamic terrorism.
Mr Justice Richard Humphreys said the Minister’s refusal should be quashed because of failure to inform the man’s lawyers that certain information about Algeria, contained in a blog, was relied upon by the Minister when considering the application to revoke.
Lawyers for the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons and claims he is at risk of torture if returned to Algeria, were thus unable to make comments on the information, the judge found.
The ruling follows a Supreme Court decision last July quashing an earlier refusal by the Minister to revoke the deportation order issued in late 2016.
The Supreme Court had sent the matter back to the Minister for further reconsideration and the Minister last September again refused to revoke, leading to the man taking a fresh High Court case aimed at quashing the second refusal.
After Mr Justice Humphreys said on Thursday he was quashing the refusal, Michael Lynn SC, with David Leonard, for the man, said there could not be “endless” applications in this matter and the court should quash the deportation order and direct the man’s release from custody, where he has been for a year.
Remy Farrell SC, with Sinead McGrath BL, for the Minister, argued the matter should be remitted to the Minister.
Counsel said the refusal had been quashed on procedural rather than substantive grounds and it was also in the public interest the matter be remitted as the State maintained the man is involved with Islamic terrorism.
The man was convicted of terrorism offences in Algeria and France, and had previously used multiple identities and had been jailed in Ireland for attempting to travel on a false passport, counsel said.
The Minister issued a deportation order against the man in 2016 after gardaíinformed the Department of Justice the activities of the man and his associates were “of serious concern” and “contrary to the State’s security”.
After considering the submissions, Mr Justice Humphreys remitted the matter for further consideration by the Minister.
Noting the previous decisions, he accepted there could not be “endless bites of the cherry”. However, taking into account factors raised by the State, including the man’s past behaviour, he would remit the matter for another consideration and adjourned the matter to February.
Aged in his 50s the man has lived in Ireland for several years. He denies being involved in terrorism or being involved in groups including al-Qaeda. He claims he was at risk of being tortured and subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment due to his political views.
During the 1990s he was convicted of several offences in Algeria and received three life sentences and two death sentences, which are no longer carried out. Those offences include forming an armed terrorist group intending to spread murder and sabotage. He was arrested in France in 2002 and jailed for eight years there after being convicted of charges including membership of a criminal organisation preparing an act of terrorism.