Thursday, December 22, 2011

British government trying to cover up illegal immigrant status of killer

Not surprising in the light of their chronic failure to deport criminal illegals

A murder victim’s family who want to know if the man who shot their son is in Britain legally have been refused the information – to protect the killer’s privacy.

Wintworth and Lurline Deslandes are desperate to confirm suspicions that Saturday Hassan is a foreign national so they can ensure he is deported if he is released from jail.

But they have been told the killer – who shot their public schoolboy son Darren in the head after being thrown out of the family’s pub – must agree to details of his immigration status being handed over to their MP.

Officials said this ‘personal information’ needed to be ‘safeguarded’ and cited the Data Protection Act in their refusal to hand it over.

The UK Border Agency also insisted it needed ‘written authority’ from Hassan himself, who is serving life with a minimum term of 37 years, before any details could be released.

The Deslandes family are enraged by the response and their case has sparked a furious reaction at Westminster, with the couple’s MP branding the decision ‘ridiculous’.

Their son, a former Dulwich College schoolboy who attended Brunel University and worked for a housing association, was due to be married to Abigail Beresford earlier this year.

Last night Croydon North MP Malcolm Wicks said: ‘The logic of that answer is that I should write a nice letter saying, “Dear murderer, would you give me permission to find out if you are a foreign national, so I can make sure in the future you are deported”.’ The former Labour business minister added: ‘It’s ridiculous. The family of the murdered man had a suspicion for some reason he might have been a foreign national and it didn’t come out in court.

‘My experience as an MP is that if you find out some criminal is a foreign national, I do my best to pressure the Home Office to check the person out. That’s one reason an MP should be able to find out.’

Hassan, 31, was thrown out of the Deslandes family’s pub – the Newton Arms in Croydon, South London – on New Year’s Eve 2009 after threatening a customer. Minutes later he returned with a semi-automatic weapon, firing at Darren, 34, and his younger brother Junior, who had evicted him.

Darren was shot in the head and died instantly. Junior, 26, was hit three times in the head, neck and shoulder. He was left critically ill but survived.

Mr Deslandes – who bought the pub in 1999 after working as an insurance underwriter in the City of London for 25 years – was hit over the head with the butt of the gun.

Last year Hassan was found guilty of murder and attempted murder at the Old Bailey and jailed. Judge David Paget said: ‘What you did has taken the life of a thoroughly good and worthy young man with his life before him and has devastated the lives of the whole Deslandes family, of Darren Deslandes’s fiancĂ©e and I dare say of others near and dear to them.’

The family insist the question of Hassan’s immigration status never came up at the trial.

During the trial, Mr Wicks wrote to the Home Office asking for information on the killer’s immigration status after the family told him they believed Hassan was in the country illegally, having arrived here from Guyana in South America.

On December 2 last year the UK Border Agency wrote back. A letter signed by the then chief executive, Lin Homer, refused to divulge any details about Hassan’s past.

She wrote: ‘I hope that you will appreciate that in order to safeguard an individual’s personal information and comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, we are limited in what information we can provide when a request is made by someone, such as your constituent, who is not the subject of the application. Except in a few exceptional circumstances, we must ensure we have the written authority of the individual concerned before the information is divulged to anyone else.’

It also said the reply was a ‘proportionate response to protecting the privacy of the individual’.

Last night Mrs Deslandes, 57, said: ‘I do not see why he should have any data protection. He has killed someone. We are the victims and no one is there to protect us. He should be removed from the country.’ Mr Deslandes, 60, who is terminally ill with lung cancer, added: ‘He shot both of my sons and he tried to kill me as well, but he ran out of bullets.’

Raising the case in the in the House of Commons on Monday during a debate about the deportation of foreign nationals, Mr Wicks branded the decision ‘total nonsense’.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said he ‘rather agreed’ and described the situation as ‘absurd’. But officials admitted he was constrained by the Data Protection Act. Last night a Home Office official said: ‘The minister is able to discuss more in some cases but the Data Protection Act is what it is and he can’t act above that.’

A UKBA spokesperson said yesterday: 'Our immigration rules clearly state that a foreign national receiving a prison sentence of more than 12 months will automatically be considered for deportation.'

Mr Wicks raised the issue during a Commons debate on foreign criminals after a leaked Home Office report revealed foreign nationals allowed to remain in the UK have committed horrendous crimes including murder, rape and kidnap.

Ministers have pledged to increase the number of foreign nationals sent home but are being thwarted by the Human Rights Act, especially Article 8 which gives individuals a right to a ‘private and family life’.


Greens blamed for failure to stop illegal immigration to Australia

IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Bowen has attacked the humanitarian credentials of the Australian Greens after his attempt to end the stalemate over offshore processing failed amid fresh brawling with the Coalition.

Mr Bowen, struggling for a policy response to an ongoing flood of asylum-seeker boats arriving off northern Australia, described the Greens yesterday as "naive and out of touch" after the party's leader, Bob Brown, insisted offshore processing was no deterrent to people-smuggling.

The minister's comments came as government sources confirmed that they expected hundreds of asylum-seekers to enter Australia by boat over the coming holiday period and warned of a repeat of last weekend's sinking of an overloaded boat off Indonesia, in which as many as 200 Middle Eastern asylum-seekers headed for Australia drowned.

The tragedy continued to dominate political discourse yesterday as Labor and the Coalition parties insisted onshore processing was acting as a beacon to people-smugglers but remained deadlocked about the location for an offshore regime.

With the government promoting Malaysia and the Coalition sticking by its policy of reopening a processing centre on the Pacific island of Nauru, Senator Brown described their positions as "an anomaly" and said they were out of step with public opinion.

Senator Brown said that the most humane approach was to process asylum-seekers in Australia.

His position provoked a strong response last night from Mr Bowen, who said the Greens' view that the answer was to accept more refugees was "naive and not in touch with the practical reality and experience".

"He (Senator Brown) needs to consider that there is nothing humanitarian about a policy which says to people: your best chance of a new life in Australia is to risk your life to get here," Mr Bowen told The Australian.

"All the evidence shows that if you have proper offshore processing in place then it does discourage boat arrivals."

Earlier, Senator Brown said: "I say that Australia should be processing onshore because that is an international legal obligation."

When asked to respond to claims his policy attracted people-smugglers, the Greens leader said: "I'm not here to answer to The Australian's policy or the policies of the big parties; I'm here to promote our policy because it's humanitarian."

Asked for a solution to the fact that asylum-seekers were dying on their way to Australia, Senator Brown said: "There is none. Whether you take offshore or onshore. We know that from the terrible history."

Senator Brown said he was "mindful of the fact that the worst tragedy of this run of asylum-seekers to Australia, at least in recent history, was the SIEV X, which came after John Howard's policies of diverting people to Nauru".

Earlier yesterday, Labor revealed Julia Gillard had approached the Opposition Leader last Wednesday -- before the latest disaster -- for new talks to seek common ground to reinstate offshore processing.

Warning of worsening weather conditions north of Australia, the Prime Minister wrote in a letter to Mr Abbott: "I believe that in circumstances such as this the Australian people expect us to work together to ensure that the national interest is upheld."

In a written response, Mr Abbott refused: "This is a problem that you have created and it is your responsibility to solve."

Mr Abbott argued that the Coalition wanted processing of asylum-seekers on Nauru, a reinstatement of temporary protection visas and a policy of turning back asylum boats where possible. It was "pointless", Mr Abbott wrote, for new talks unless the government had a genuine new policy proposal to put forward.

Two further approaches this week by Wayne Swan, including one in which the Acting Prime Minister cited the parties' "shared responsibility" to find a solution, were also rejected.

Mr Bowen appeared to offer a compromise by saying processing on Nauru was impractical "in the absence" of processing under Labor's plan to send 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia in return for 4000 approved refugees, which was taken to mean he was open to processing in both places.

But Coalition sources insisted they were not confident that the minister could win support from Ms Gillard for the position.

Mr Bowen last night told the ABC's 7.30 he would not place parameters around any "good faith" discussions with the opposition should they agree to talks.

"Our policy position is clear," the minister said. "We believe that temporary protection visas led to an increase in the number of people coming to Australia by boat because it denied family reunion and that said to people your only chance of coming is by boat. Turning back the boats is dangerous. The navy says it risks lives. I'm not going to walk away from those positions.

"But by the same token, I'm not going to say to the opposition 'come in and . . . these areas have parameters around them which we can't talk about'."


1 comment:

  1. Yeah, lets block a humane approach of processing these refugees on mainland Australia. Because if we don't then the refugees will then try to sail to New Zealand and we will have greater amounts of drowning than now.
    Also rather than knee jerk policies on refugees, what of the push factors, like Australia's involvement in Afghanistan while the US negotiates with the Taliban for a hand over.