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Immigration officials caught lying on oath


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This from Channel 4 News about the collapse of a huge “sham marriage” criminal trial:

But, when immigration officers were questioned in the witness box, it emerged that evidence had been tampered with or concealed, possibly destroyed, video footage had gone missing, and an investigation log had been doctored.

His Honour Judge Nic Madge brought the trial to halt a yesterday, saying “I am satisfied that officers at the heart of this prosecution have deliberately concealed important evidence and lied on oath.

This is the second major case revealing a course of dishonest conduct by immigration officials. The last one was that of Radha Patel, an innocent visitor to the United Kingdom who was awarded £125,000 damages for her treatment. The “evidence” from immigration officials is routinely accepted at face value by judges in the immigration tribunal. Any suggestion by an appellant or their lawyer that it might not be true is met by shock and disbelief reminiscent of Lord Denning’s blind faith in the police who “investigated” the Birmingham Six:

If they won, it would mean that the police were guilty of perjury; that they were guilty of violence and threats; that the confessions were involuntary and improperly admitted in evidence; and that the convictions were erroneous. … That was such an appalling vista that every sensible person would say, “It cannot be right that these actions should go any further.”

In a bail application the other day for BID, I pointed out that Home Office assertions in a bail summary were totally without evidential foundation or documentary proof. The judge preferred to consider them as “admissible hearsay”. Judges should adjudicate equally between the parties and require real evidence where an assertion is contested. If the Home Office is institutionally incapable of producing evidence or witnesses, so be it.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


6 Responses

  1. We have had many damning comments in an EEA marriage interview shown to be total fabrication by harrassing the Home Office DPU for a copy of the audio and a full transcript copy and going through them in detail.

    One of the comments the Home Office relied on was that the EEA spouse had done our client a favour marrying him, when the audio showed that what she said was nothing of the sort.

    The Home Office withdrew their refusal on the day of the appeal and we are going for wasted costs, but I think we should complain strongly. It’s disgusting that they get away with blatantly lying in their records of evidence used against our clients.

  2. A few weeks ago in a bail hearing in stoke on Trent IAC a PO got a decision made from the caseworker during the lunch break and came back to the judge with the confirmation that they had just made the certified refusal decision during lunch time so asked the judge to refuse the bail application, which she did without asking her for any papers. Of course the judge did not listen to what I had to say about this conduct. It later transpired that this material fact was untrue, as later on the casework team confirmed in writing that there was no decision made on that day. I really want to do something about it but the casework manager’s response to oral complaint was such that I am not sure how useful a written complaint is going to be.

  3. One cannot help thinking that judicial training needs to cover these issues but since the Judicial College is such an odd, untransparent organisation one does not have high hopes!

  4. Have just completed an lbc based on a fundamental assumption the HO is lying through its teeth (“in the absence of sight of a documentation verification report, it is asserted that no such report exists”). Good to see the assumption has some basis in fact :)

  5. its same happen to me as well the home office did interview and send me the refusal that our relation is not genuine. and put the objection that my wife she did not know her upcoming child (pregnant) and i know the name and basically she was the one who picked the name she was told the name and the person who did interview his daughter name was also same and he told to my wife and funny thing the refusal is that one
    later for appeal we asked them to provide the interview transcription they send me letter that for technical problem they do not have record of interview. before the hearing room they said they will review the case again and change the decision. after one and half month waiting they send me the same letter of refusal that we do not have record of interview. so now i am waiting for another hearing date. its such a waste of money and time.
    i think because of home office lied on interview thats way they doing all this shit. now body have to asked about what they are doing harassing the people who are genuine private life