Judges snub Howard on asylum for adulterer

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The Independent Online
An Iranian who says he faces a flogging for committing adultery, or even death at the hands of an outraged husband, if he returned home, had his hopes of obtaining refuge in Britain raised by the Court of Appeal yesterday.

A special adjudicator decided that Jafar Danaei, 29, was "an inveterate lecher" and accepted his account of nights spent with a married woman, whom he had heard was subsequently stoned to death.

Mr Danaei's asylum application was turned down in March last year after the then Home Secretary, Michael Howard, disagreed with the adjudicator, calling the story "a complete fabrication". But yesterday, in a far- reaching judgment defending the independent role of adjudicators, three judges held that Mr Howard had acted unreasonably.

Lord Justice Brown, sitting with Lord Justice Ward and Lord Justice Judge, said Mr Danaei's application for exceptional leave should be reconsidered by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, warningagainst the dangers of "decision- making by executive or administrative diktat".

The judges refused Home Office lawyers permission to take the case to the House of Lords, but they can still petition the Law Lords direct.

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