Portsmouth man wins deportation reprieve

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A MAN faced with deportation to a country where he fears imprisonment and torture has won an eleventh-hour reprieve.

Robert Segwanyi, who was set to be deported from Haslar to his native Uganda at 8pm last night, will be allowed to stay, temporarily, after evidence was presented to appeal against his removal.

Mr Segwanyi, who lives in Portsmouth, had fled Uganda where he said he was tortured for being gay.

Because the east African state punishes homosexuality with up to 14 years in jail, and is alleged to torture prisoners, he argued he should not be deported.

But the UK Border Agency (UKBA) disputed whether he is gay, which convinced immigration judges he should be forced to return to Uganda.

As reported in The News yesterday Portsmouth South’s Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock, who is Mr Segwanyi’s MP, believes the court had made mistakes.

He said it appeared judges had misinterpreted statements from leading psychiatry professor, Cornelius Katona.

Prof Katona said he believed Mr Segwanyi is gay, but Mr Hancock said judges believed he said the opposite.

Yesterday Mr Segwanyi’s solicitor, immigration specialist Tahir Mohammed, made representations to judges to have the decision overturned.

The Home Office agreed at 3pm to defer Mr Segwanyi’s deportation, at least until it is decided whether the latest evidence is new enough to be considered a new case, and has any chance of success.

It’s expected a decision whether to open a new case will be made in the next three weeks.

Mr Hancock said: ‘It’s good there’s been a temporary reprieve, but this is only temporary. There’s a lot to be gone over, and I hope all the evidence will be carefully considered, in detail.’