Straw overruled by judge in asylum case

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The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, suffered another High Court defeat yesterday over the treatment of an asylum-seeker who is suing the Home Office for malicious prosecution after being cleared of taking part in riots at a detention centre.

The Home Secretary, Jack Straw, suffered another High Court defeat yesterday over the treatment of an asylum-seeker who is suing the Home Office for malicious prosecution after being cleared of taking part in riots at a detention centre.

A judge ruled that Mr Straw had "failed to give adequate and satisfactory reasons" for refusing John Quaquah, from Ghana, exceptional leave to remain in Britain to prepare his case.

It is the second time the High Court has told the Home Secretary he has erred in law over Mr Quaquah's situation. Last December, Mr Justice Turner, sitting in London, ruled that Mr Straw was wrong not to allow Mr Quaquah to stay in Britain to prepare for the case, which stems from an incident in 1997 at Campsfield House, an immigration detention centre.

Yesterday another judge, Mr Justice Elias, was told that the Home Secretary had again decided not to give Mr Quaquah exceptional leave.

Quashing this second decision, the judge said Mr Straw had failed to give adequate or satisfactory reasons, adding: "There appears no obvious reason why leave to enter should not be given in this case, even if initially for a limited period.

Mr Justice Elias also told Mr Straw's legal team: "This question must now be resolved with all due expedition."