- United States
United Kingdom Home Secretary Theresa May has been found Guilty of Contempt of Court as a result of ruling by Judge Barry Cotter, QC, for ignoring a legal undertaking to free an Algerian criminal from immigration detention by June 8, 2012.
The judge termed the actions of Ms. May as the “most regrettable and unacceptable behaviour” leading to an “intentional breach” of her undertaking to release the foreign national.
Ms. May avoided the possible fine or imprisonment as the failed asylum seeker and convicted criminal, Aziz Lamari was released from the immigration detention six days after agreed date.
The 22 year old Algerian entered United Kingdom in the year 2009 and applied for refugee protection and later was convicted of robbery with 12 month imprisonment.
Lamari completed his sentence at the end of 2010; however, he had to stay in the immigration detention while arrangements were made to deport him back to Algeria.
Home Secretary Ms. May and her team agreed with Lamari’s lawyers for his release by June 8, 2012 after a court hearing on May 25 this year.
However, he was not free on the agreed date but on a later date of June 14 as Ms. May tried to get out of the undertaking.
A spokesman for UK Border Agency spokesman said in a statement “Aziz Lamari is a failed asylum seeker who had served custodial sentences for serious offences. He was held in immigration detention awaiting removal to Algeria and we accept that he was not released on the date set by the court, which resulted in yesterday’s judgment.”
The spokesman further added, “We are reviewing how this happened urgently.”
On one previous occasion in 1991, UK Home Secretary Kenneth Baker was found guilty of contempt of court for ignoring instruction from a judge in refugee case. Ms. May has, thus, become the second Home Secretary to be judged in contempt of court in the United Kingdom legal history.
Tags: Asylum Seeker, Contempt of Court, England, Refugee Claimant, Theresa May, UK, UK Home Secretary, United Kingdom