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Immigration officials caught lying on oath

Immigration officials caught lying on oath

This from Channel 4 News about the collapse of a huge “sham marriage” criminal trial:

But, when immigration officers were questioned in the witness box, it emerged that evidence had been tampered with or concealed, possibly destroyed, video footage had gone missing, and an investigation log had been doctored.

His Honour Judge Nic Madge brought the trial to halt a yesterday, saying “I am satisfied that officers at the heart of this prosecution have deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath.

This is the second major case revealing a course of dishonest conduct by immigration officials. The last one was that of Radha Patel, an innocent visitor to the United Kingdom who was awarded £125,000 damages for her treatment. The “evidence” from immigration officials is routinely accepted at face value by judges in the immigration tribunal. Any suggestion by an appellant or their lawyer that it might not be true is met by shock and disbelief reminiscent of Lord Denning’s blind faith in the police who “investigated” the Birmingham Six:

If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. … That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, “It cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”

In a bail application the other day for BID, I pointed out that Home Office assertions in a bail summary were totally without evidential foundation or documentary proof. The judge preferred to consider them as “admissible hearsay”. Judges should adjudicate equally between the parties and require real evidence where an assertion is contested. If the Home Office is institutionally incapable of producing evidence or witnesses, so be it.

Colin Yeo
Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder and editor of the Free Movement immigration law website.

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