Straw `knew about MI5 link to cleric'

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The Independent Online
JACK STRAW ordered the deportation of a Muslim cleric knowing that the man had rejected MI5 attempts to recruit him, a Home Office official told an immigration hearing.

Shafiq ur Rehman, 28, who is accused of recruiting and raising funds in Britain for a mujahedin group fighting in Kashmir, rejected overtures from MI5 officers in 1997, the hearing in London was told. Susan Hadland, the former assistant director of the immigration and nationality directorate, said: "I would accept that the approach was part of the case put to the Secretary of State but it was not a significant part." She denied the security service had ordered the cleric's deportation in a "fit of pique".

Mr Rehman, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, is fighting to overturn his exMulsion.

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