The 38-year-old Ghanaian banker convicted of the UK’s biggest fraud, Kweku Adoboli has won a bid to delay being deported to Ghana.
This is because a judge has awarded a judicial review for the case.
Adoboli was set to be deported to Ghana on Tuesday, 18th September 2018 in accordance with the UK law which states that, if a foreign national has been sentenced to more than four years in prison “the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances”.
Adoboli who has lived in the UK since he was 12 was in 2012 found guilty of fraud that lost his employer UBS $2.3bn (£1.8bn) and was due to be deported to Ghana on Tuesday because he had never applied for a British citizenship.
He was sentenced to seven years for the fraud but served half that time.
According to theguardian.com, with just a few hours to his departure, Adoboli’s lawyers submitted an application for a judicial review of his case in a final attempt to prevent his “banishment” from his friends and family in the UK.
Adoboli’s lawyers expect him to be freed from an immigration removal centre near Heathrow Airport within days and released on bail until the outcome of the judicial review, which could take several months.
Reacting to the reprieve, Adoboli’s lawyer, Jacqui McKenzie said “Common sense has broken out: sending a 38-year-old man to a country where he has not lived since the age of four was always madness, given that he has lived in Britain since the age of 12 and the UK is where his friends and partner live and where his family life is based. It is unquestionably his home. Let’s hope that will be the judgment, as and when it is made.”
Hannah Bardell, Adoboli’s MP, who had led a campaign to keep him in the UK, said on Twitter: “A really incredible result, we never gave up hope and we’ll keep fighting!”
Immigration minister, Caroline Nokes who had earlier refused to intervene to review the deportation order despite appeals from 132 MPs and a petition signed by more than 73,000 people, explaining her decision said Adoboli committed a serious offence and as such the public expected robust action to be taken against him.
She said, “Although Mr Adoboli’s offence was not one of violence, he committed a serious offence and this was reflected in the length of his sentence. Financial crime, like all crime, has an impact on the society that we live in and the public expects robust action to be taken against foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crime.
“After consideration of all the individual circumstances of his case, the Home Office was satisfied that Mr Adoboli’s case does not meet any of the exceptions in the 2007 [Borders] Act and a deportation order was served on him on 22 July 2014. The decision to deport him has been upheld independently, at several stages, by the courts. His application to appeal to the court of appeal was dismissed on 28 June 2018 and on 13 August his application for a judicial review was refused.”
Kweku Adoboli was born in Ghana but has lived in the UK for 26 years
Nokes said the government was “committed to a fair and humane immigration policy” and she rejected the suggestion that Adoboli’s treatment was similar to that of the Windrush generation of immigrants.
“The Home Office recognises the weight of dissatisfaction towards the treatment of the Windrush generation and officials are working hard to put this right,” she said. “I do not believe that the issues faces by the Windrush generation, who were legally resident in the United Kingdom but did not have the documentation to prove it, are analogous to Mr Adoboli’s case.”
The former UBS banker in an earlier interview with the Guardian said deporting him to Ghana was a worse punishment than being jailed in the UK.
“I’ve served my time, but I’m being given an extra punishment – a banishment – and just because I didn’t get around to becoming a citizen. This punishment is so much worse than being in prison,” he said.
Deporting me to Ghana worse than being jailed in UK – Adoboli
The Ghanaian earlier said deporting him to Ghana is a worse punishment than being jailed in the UK.
“I did four years in prison for a non-violent act,” he said in an interview with the Guardian from the detention centre.
“I’ve served my time, but I’m being given an extra punishment – a banishment – and just because I didn’t get around to becoming a citizen. This punishment is so much worse than being in prison.”