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LETTER : Citizenship and the al-Fayeds

From Mr Hameed Moolla

Sir: Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, has apparently acted within the law in refusing the al-Fayed brothers' British citizenship without giving any reasons for his decision (report, 27 February). From the information in the public domain, the al-Fayeds appear to have a very good case.

Mr Howard's failure to give reasons for his decision, though lawful, is patently undesirable. In the absence of reasons, one may conclude that it could be because of the al-Fayed's colour, race, religion or for the "cash for questions" allegations that resulted in the resignation of Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith. Or, one may also ask, did the allegations concerning Jonathan Aitken's stay at the Ritz Hotel in Paris influence the Home Secretary?

Not giving reasons for a decision and shielding behind the screen of lawfulness, which according to Justice Judge "lacks the appearance of fairness", not unreasonably leads one to suspect that the reasons may not be quite kosher.

Yours faithfully,

Hameed Moolla

Nailsen, Avon