Al-Masari 'will risk death' if deported

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The Independent Online
The Saudi dissident Mohamed al-Masari will argue that his life will be in danger if he is deported to Dominica when his case is heard at an immigration appeal tribunal tomorrow.

His defence organisation, the Committee for the Defence of Legitimate Rights, asked John O'Connor, formerly a senior Scotland Yard detective, to travel to the Caribbean island to assess the risk to Dr Masari.

Dr Masari said yesterday: "The report concludes that my life will be in danger from all sides, both from Saudi Arabia and from factions within Dominica. There is a very negative attitude towards my coming from all parties in Dominica."

The tribunal at Wood Green, in north London, is scheduled to spend two days examining the British government's decision to expel Dr Masari, whose accusations of corruption and calls for a peaceful transition to Islamic rule in Saudi Arabia have infuriated the Saudi royal family.

The Government is concerned that if he continues to snipe at the Saudi regime from London then Britain will lose valuable defence contracts and other commercial deals. It has been claimed that Dominica has been offered extra aid in return for agreeing to take him.

Earlier this month, a judge ordered the Home Office to disclose details of its discussions with Dominica to Dr Masari to enable him to prepare his case. His lawyers successfully argued at a preliminary hearing that the information was vital to assess whether Dominica would provide a safe haven.

Dr Masari said yesterday: "The documents show that they have been giving extremely misleading information to Dominica about my organisation."

Last year, a Government attempt to deport Dr Masari to Yemen failed when an immigration appeals tribunal ruled that it was not a safe country to send him to because of its geographical and political proximity to Saudi Arabia. If the Home Office loses this second hearing it will probably have to let him stay in Britain.