Stowaway faces wait on asylum

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The Independent Online
An Indian man who flew to Britain by stowing away in the wheelbay of a jumbo jet will have to wait eight weeks to learn if he will be allowed to stay in the country.

Pardeep Saimi, 22, a car mechanic from the Punjab, endured temperatures of -60C as he clung on in the wheelbay of a Boeing 747 on its 10-hour journey to Heathrow last October.

Doctors believe Mr Saimi only survived because his body went into a form of suspended animation.

His 18-year-old brother, Vijay, died of hypothermia and his body fell from the plane as it passed over Richmond, Surrey.

Yesterday an asylum appeals tribunal reserved judgment over Pardeep Saimi's appeal against deportation to India.

Mr Saimi was not at the hearing in central London because he has suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression as a result of his ordeal.

Adjudicator Kate Eshun said after hearing two hours of evidence that it would be difficult to come to a decision because Mr Saimi had not been able to give evidence to clarify discrepancies in interviews conducted by immigration officials.

Mr Saimi is currently living with an uncle in Southall, west London.