Home Neighbours Afghanistan UK: Tribunal Says Afghan Is Russian Agent, Citizenship Denied

UK: Tribunal Says Afghan Is Russian Agent, Citizenship Denied

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An Afghan-born man, whose British citizenship was revoked after being accused of being a Russian intelligence agent, has lost his appeal to restore his citizenship. This decision was made by a London tribunal on Friday.

The man, who claimed to have worked for Britain’s Foreign Office and the security agency GCHQ, had his citizenship removed in 2019. The British government concluded that he was an agent for Russia’s military intelligence service, known as the GRU.

The man, referred to only as C2 to protect his identity, stated that during his tenure working for Britain in Afghanistan in the late 2000s, he frequently accompanied high-level officials and royalty.

This included the future King Charles and then-Prime Minister David Cameron, who is now the foreign minister.

During a hearing in February, government lawyers alleged that C2 had been trained as a Russian agent since childhood, an accusation he strongly denied.

C2’s lawyers requested the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) – which deals with appeals against decisions to remove citizenship on national security grounds – to rule that he was not a GRU agent.

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On Friday, SIAC rejected C2’s appeal, affirming in a written ruling that the British officials’ “assessment, on advice, that C2 was an agent of the GRU as at September 2019 is amply justified.”

C2’s lawyer, Shirin Marker, expressed disappointment with the judgement. Marker stated: “C2 is deeply disappointed with the judgement.

He has attempted at all times to provide a full and transparent account of his life, in the face of appeal proceedings in which he has been given the barest of detail about the allegations against him.

To date, he still does not understand the basis for these allegations and he disputes their substance. He is considering his legal options going forwards.”

With Inputs From Reuters