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12° Nicosia,
11 July, 2020
 
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Asylee walks free after state loses case

Supreme Court orders release of man detained by state on national security grounds

Newsroom

The Supreme Court in Cyprus has ordered an asylum seeker released from detention, after the state refused to provide evidence he was being held on national security grounds and suspicion of terrorism.

According to Supreme Court documents, a Moroccan national was found to have been falsely detained for over a year by Cypriot authorities after he had filed a second appeal against his detention. He took the case to the Supreme Court seeking his immediate release.

The man, who was said to have arrived in Cyprus in late December 2018 through an illegal port of entry, filed for asylum in early January 2019 at the Immigration office in Nicosia.

His original asylum case was adjudicated with immigration authorities granting him asylum, which was immediately repealed on national security grounds

He was immediately arrested on national security grounds, with state authorities saying he was suspected of terrorism based on sources from an unnamed country. He was also charged with being a threat to national security and was taken to Menogeia Detention Facility where he remained until this week.

The suspect filed an appeal last March with an administrative court rejecting his case a month later.

Meanwhile, his original asylum case was adjudicated with immigration authorities granting him asylum, which was immediately repealed on national security grounds.

Another appeal was filed with the Administrative Court for International Protection, which is currently pending, while a lower administrative court had ruled the man should remain in custody while that case also was pending.

But the man’s lawyer argued he could not be detained indefinitely, citing no evidence showing her client was a terrorism suspect.

Supreme Court cites lack of evidence

According to Supreme Court documents, prosecutors reportedly included evidence in an administrative court hearing that showed the man was being investigated for suspected terrorism. But they not include the same documents in the hearing at the Supreme Court.

State prosecutors said authorities “do not know the location of the document, but presumably it is inside the other file” of the case under appeal for international protection.

But the Supreme Court ruled that it could adjudicate on the legality of the man’s detention only if full disclosure was given regarding the evidence based on which the state was holding him as a security threat.

In a final ruling, the Supreme Court judges said they could not take a position on whether the man had any links to terrorism but ordered him to be released citing the state failed to provide information that would warrant his detention.

The man, who was also said to have been both Moroccan and French, has flatly denied terrorism charges.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  migration  |  asylum  |  refugee  |  court  |  supreme  |  terrorism  |  national security  |  appeal  |  police  |  Morocco  |  France

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