By Dr Lusine Navasardyan, of OTS Solicitors
Re-Entered the UK as Tier 1 Investor after gratuation
While in the UK on the student visa, the client continued working for her family's business back home, acting as liaison for the business in the UK, the US and several EU countries. After graduating from her studies in the UK, she left the country and after a while, returned back to the country on as Tier 1 (Investor) migrant.
High Profile Investigations
During the client's residency in the UK as a Tier 1 Investor and before her leave would expire, a high-profile investigation was launched in the US that among other businesses implicated the client’s family business and the client personally into alleged counterfeiting activity. Investigations in Germany into the same business activity followed. The client's country of origin took advantage of these investigations that were being carefully followed by the media and claiming it was part of an anti-corruption and fraud campaign started against our client and several of her associates. The techniques applied by the authorities to carry out the investigations amounted to persecution of our client and others implicated. Some of her associates were imprisoned without due process. As a result of the investigation in the country of origin, a red notice was issued by the INTERPOL on our client's name. Our client was effectively in impossibility to travel and was under constant threat of being arrested on the basis of the Interpol notice.
The client was advised by her previous solicitors to claim asylum. The claim failed, as the Home Office found the criminal charges brought against our client to be an evidence of prosecution not persecution and therefore not being covered by the Refugee convention. Particular weight was attached to the fact that there were western jurisdictions that were also bringing charges against the client and the businesses she had worked with.
Instructing OTS Solicitors Appeals and Litigation Team
The client approached OTS Solicitors to represent her case in the appeal. At that point, as a result of her asylum claim, her Tier 1 Investor visa had been cancelled and the Client had no alternative basis to stay in the UK apart from the ongoing appeal.
As the case involved complex issues and cross-border jurisdictions, our Appeals and Litigation team conducted a thorough initial assessment of the case, prior to lodging the appeal. The client was meticulously advised of the strengths and weaknesses of their case, of the evidence that would be required of them to produce to strengthen the claim and on the procedures. Throughout the entire time, our Appeals and Litigation team maintained contact with the client and their overseas legal representatives, closely monitoring the development of the overseas investigations and their outcomes.
Adjournment and Best Chances of Success
To give the client the best chance of success, our team asked for adjournment of the initial hearing on the basis that the outcomes of the overseas investigations where crucial to the asylum claim and there were clear indications that the criminal cases brought against our client in the US and German jurisdictions were going to be dismissed. Although adjournment was initially refused, our team managed to secure adjournment of the hearing on different bases, on the date of hearing. Having succeeded on this first step, the team continued to work tirelessly to secure the best result for our client.
Our Appeals and litigation team continued to maintain close contact with the overseas representatives and monitor the cases that eventually were dismissed, all the charges against our client being dropped in the US and Germany. The country of origin, however continued to persist in their criminal proceedings against our client.
UK human rights Obligation and Violations of Refugee Convention
Before the Tribunal, evidence was produced of the country’s record of human rights violations during the investigations of crimes, together with evidence that fair trial was unlikely to be accessible to our client. Further to this, evidence was produced on the prison conditions in support of the argument that returning the client to her country of origin knowing that the custodial sentence was highly likely to be applied, was already a violation of the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.
Appeal Allowed on human rights Article 3 Grounds and Refugee Convention
The client’s appeal was allowed and it was considered that returning the client to her country of origin would result in the UK’s breach of obligations under the Refugee convention, as they would face violation of their rights under Article 3 and of the European Human Right Convention.
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Posted on: Saturday, 15 July, 2017