The UK’s Home Office admitted defeat in a 10-year legal battle to deport six al-Qaeda linked terrorism suspects to Algeria.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled in April that to deport the terror suspects would violate their human rights. This week the Home Office decided not to appeal, giving up on the case and effectively granting the men the right to stay in the UK.
“It is not inconceivable that these Appellants, if returned to Algeria, would be subject to ill-treatment infringing Article 3 [prohibition of torture under the European Convention on Human Rights],” the court ruled in April. “There is a real risk of such a breach.”
The Home Office argued the men posed a threat to Britain’s national security. They also argued that agreements with Algerian President Bouteflika were sufficient guarantee that torture would not occur.
The SIAC found those arguments unconvincing, noting that the Bouteflika is nearly 80 and suffered a brain haemorrhage.
The men cannot be identified for legal reasons but were reported to be linked to plots in the UK and abroad. They are living under strict bail conditions and are being watched. The Telegraph estimates the cost of watching them to be £10 million per year. The court battle also cost the government £1 million.