Kweku Adoboli, the former UBS trader convicted of the UK’s biggest fraud, said he was devastated after an immigration judge ruled he must remain in detention while awaiting a judicial review of his deportation.
Adoboli, 38, was jailed for seven years after being found guilty in 2012 of fraud that cost his employer UBS $2.3bn (£1.8bn). He was released after serving half his sentence. Although born in Ghana, he left when he was four and has lived in the UK since he was 12.
Under UK law, if a foreign national has been sentenced to more than four years in jail “the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances”.
Adoboli was last week granted an injunction against his deportation in an attempt to prevent his “banishment” from his friends and family in the UK.
Adoboli’s legal team argued on Tuesday that he should be freed from Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow airport and released on bail until the outcome of the review.
But in a hearing where Adoboli appeared via video link, the immigration judge Claire O’Garro agreed to the Home Office’s request that he must remain locked up.
However, the Home Office has asked the judiciary to expedite an initial decision on the case. O’Garro said if his judicial review went ahead he could reapply for bail.
O’Garro rejected the arguments of Adoboli’s barrister, Phil Haywood, that he should be released from detention because he was not an absconding risk and because his friends were prepared to stand as £25,000 bail sureties.
“He’s clearly not wishing to return to Ghana,” said O’Garro. “He doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t want to be removed. This seems to be the last throw of the dice.”
Speaking from detention after the hearing, Adoboli said: “I’m devastated about today’s decision. My friends and family have had to sacrifice a lot to support me through this process. There is no evidence that I will abscond. I’m just trying my best to ensure that my life in the UK is protected.”
In his recent report (pdf) into immigration detention, the former prisons ombudsman Stephen Shaw expressed concern about the removal of foreign national offenders who were born in the UK or grew up here. He said removing people from a country where they had grown up, gone to school and had family and friends raised real ethical issues. He described the Home Office policy to deport people who had committed crimes but had grown up here as “deeply troubling” and called for an end to the practice.
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