Thursday, April 14, 2005

The only non-genuine asylum case?

The BBC reports that a failed asylum seeker, Kamel Bourgass, was jailed for 17 years for plotting to spread ricin and other poisons. He also happened to murder a policeman but that does not seem to have increased his prison sentence to life. He destroyed his travel documentation before arrival in January 2000, used four false identities (who could have guessed that he might try to confuse the authorities!!). His story seems to be one of a littany of failures to protect the public all because he said the magic word on arrival, "Asylum". He applied for asylum in February 2000. A year and a half later he was interviewed by the Immigration in August 2001. What was he doing in the meantime? He may have had four false identities but he apparently gave the authorities his real address as his rejection letter arrived in the post!! He then used the same envelope to keep £4,100 in cash (where did this come from?) and the recipes for his poisons and explosives. Bourgass' appeal against the asylum decision was dismissed in October 2001, when he became liable to be arrested and deported. However, he wasn't, he did claim asylum afterall, so he remained in the UK where he was arrested for shop lifting in July 2002. He was either particularly cunning or particularly stupid as he gave Police his real name, thus avoding detection as he was now an illegal immigrant.

The BBC report then fails to point out the next part of the story, so thanks to The Times for filling in the rest. Having been arrested for shop lifting, magistrates could have deported or detained him but fined him £70 and freed him. Why wasn't he deported? He was in the hands of the authorities, having been convicted of committing a crime. In January 2003, while on the run after the discovery of a safe house where he was trying to make ricin and cyanide, Bourgass murdered Detective Constable Stephen Oake and wounded three other officers. The Times also points out that his four co-defendants were released as evidence against them was insufficient and his links to the Finsbury Park Mosque!!

1 comment:

lascivious said...

He was also found by chance in Manchester. Police were not watching him, but another group of people and when they raided they found him there. He was then not handcuffed afer he was arrested which gave him ample opportunity to stab and kill a police officer. And our asylum system isn't creaking at the edges... honest, says Mr Clarke.