Sheikh Raed Salah, ordered not to come to Britain, wins appeal against the British Government's attempt to deport him.
Border officials missed six chances to stop him entering the country.[/*][/list]
By DANIEL MILLER
PUBLISHED: 17:22 GMT, 8 April 2012
A Palestinian activist, who was allowed to enter Britain despite being banned on the grounds he might incite racial hatred, has won an appeal to stay.
Sheikh Raed Salah, 53, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, arrived at Heathrow Airport on June 25. An investigation revealed Border officials had missed six chances to stop him entering the country.
He was arrested at his hotel three days later at which point Home Secretary Theresa May served a deportation notice saying his presence in the UK was 'not conducive to the public good'.
However after being released on curfew, Mr Salah, a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship, launched a legal battle against moves to expel him and a tribunal has now found in his favour.
During a two-day hearing - in which he sought damages for unlawful detention - the High Court was told how Mr Salah had intended to stay in the country for 10 days to attend meetings and public engagements.
His legal team claimed he had not been aware of the ban, had entered the country with a passport issued in his name and had made 'no attempt' to conceal his identity.
His arrest had followed an appeal by the Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, who asked the Home Secretary in Parliament that Salah be banned because of his 'history of virulent anti-semitism'.
He said: 'I have been questioning the propriety of providing a platform to a speaker who reportedly peddles the conspiracy theories of Jewish involvement in the 9/11 plots.'
Campaigners insisted he was the leader of a legitimate political organisation and rejected all forms of racism.
Mrs May has said the Government excluded people such as Mr Salah because it wanted to take action early 'rather than simply waiting until people have gone down the route of violent extremism'.
According to the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, he has received a letter from the Upper Immigration Tribunal yesterday which stated the decision to detain him appeared to have been 'entirely unnecessary' and that his appeal had succeeded 'on all grounds.
Sarah Colborne, PSC director, branded the ruling a 'very important day for British justice'.
She said: 'By arresting, imprisoning and attempting to deport Sheikh Raed Salah on what the judge has determined as a 'misapprehension of the facts,' the British Government have acted in a shameful way,' she said.
'I trust that there will be a serious attempt by the British Government to rely in the future on accurate evidence rather than inaccurate anti-Palestinian propaganda against someone who has a history of opposing Israel's crimes and violations of international law.'
The Home Office said it was 'disappointed' with the tribunal's decision.
'We are considering the detailed judgment and, if we can appeal, we will.'
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