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Judges hear 'stateless' man case

Supreme Court justices are considering whether Home Office ministers unfairly deprived a man of his British nationality after MI5 assessed him as being involved in "terrorism-related activities".

The 31-year-old man, who was born in Vietnam but has not been named, says the Government unlawfully rendered him "stateless".

His case has already been analysed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission and the Court of Appeal.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that ministers had rendered him stateless and were not permitted to deprive him of his British nationality.

But the Court of Appeal overturned that ruling - and the man then asked the Supreme Court to consider the case.

Justices are scheduled to hear evidence and legal argument at a hearing in London today and tomorrow.

They are expected to reserve a ruling and are unlikely to announce a decision until next year.

Judges have heard that the man was born Vietnam and had been taken to Hong Kong as a baby.

In the 1989 his family had arrived in the UK and claimed asylum.

They were granted indefinite leave to remain and 1995 they acquired British citizenship.

The man had been educated in the UK and attended a college of design and communications in Kent, judges heard.

He had converted to Islam at 21 and it had been alleged that he had become an Islamist extremist.

Appeal judges were told that he had travelled to Yemen in late 2010 and remained there until the summer of 2011.

They heard that MI5 had assessed the man and concluded that while in Yemen he had received terrorist training from al Qaida.

MI5 had said that if "at liberty" the man would pose an "active threat".

Home Office ministers had then decided that depriving the man of British citizenship would be "conducive to the public good".

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