Appeal No. SC/165/2019
In the Special Immigration Appeals Commission
6 March 2020
Secretary of State for the Home Department
ON considering the Secretary of State’s application for an order pursuant to Rule 39(5)(f) and (h) of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Procedure) Rules 2003 (as amended) and the Explanatory Note, the witness statement of Peter Smith and the legal submissions filed in support of that application (“the supporting documents”);
AND ON the Appellant’s legal representatives and the Special Advocate having been served with a copy of the application and the supporting documents on 14 February 2020;
AND ON the legal representatives of media organisations having been served with a copy of the application and the Explanatory Note, as required by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Practice Note on Anonymity Orders and Related Issues, on 17 February 2020;
AND no objection having been received from any person served with the application
IT IS ORDERED THAT:
- An NCA Officer shall be granted anonymity in relation to the proceedings before the Commission and be known in these proceedings as “LM”;
- The identity of LM shall not disclosed to the Appellant or to any other person;
- LM shall be permitted to give evidence screened from the Appellant and the public so that he cannot be seen by the Appellant or the public, but for the avoidance of doubt may be seen by the Commission and counsel representing the Appellant and counsel representing the Secretary of State; and
- The Commission will take such other measures under Rule 39(5)(f) and (h) as appear to it to be necessary in order to give effect to paragraphs 1 and 2 above.
Dated this 6th day of March 2020
- The Appellant is an Albanian national who has lived in the United Kingdom. He was issued with a permanent residence card issued 1 August 2017, as the spouse of an EEA national. On 4 September 2019, the Secretary of State for the Home Department served the Appellant with notice of a decision to make an Exclusion Order.
- The Secretary of State’s decision was made based on an assessment by the National Crime Agency (‘the NCA’) that B9 was: (i) “an influential member of the UK-based Albanian criminal community”; (ii) a “central facilitating figure for the importation and distribution of class A drugs”; (iii) “capable of engaging in extreme violence” and (iv) “involved with assisting non-EEA nationals to enter the UK illegally”, and that his exclusion was thus justified on grounds of public policy and public security. The Appellant has appealed against that decision.
- The Secretary of State wishes to call an NCA official, LN, to give evidence in the appeal. The Secretary of State considers that a serious threat is posed to LN by the Appellant, by his organised crime group (‘OCG’) and by OCGs generally. All have the potential to take reprisals, involving serious physical harm, to those who threaten their criminal activities.
- The Secretary of State considers that if LN were identified, he and possibly his family would face a significant risk of harm. LN’s expert evidence is particularly important to the Secretary of State’s case. LN also faces risks because of his role in tackling the criminal activities of Albanian OCGs and what he has done to disrupt their activities.
- The Commission is not in a position to decide whether the risks to LN which are described in the Secretary of State’s application are likely to materialise, but must assume that they might. The risk of harm to LN outweighs the article 10 rights of the media and the public, and justifies the incursion into the principle of open justice which an anonymity order would make.