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Court refuses Bin Laden’s son entry to Britain

world Updated: Dec 04, 2009 11:27 IST
Osama bin Laden

A bid by one of Osama bin Laden’s sons to visit Britain has been rejected by an immigration tribunal amid questions about his proposed marriage to a British woman and his attitude to his father.

Omar bin Laden, 28, lost his appeal against Britain’s refusal in April 2008 to allow him to move here with British-born Zaina Alsabah, 54, who he claimed to have married in his homeland of Saudi Arabia in 2007.

The deputy president of the asylum and immigration tribunal, Mark Ockelton, said their union “was not to be regarded as valid in English law”, partly because they were both married to other people at the time.

Ockelton added that he was “not satisfied” that the pair, who met in September 2006, had any intention of marrying or living together.

In rejecting Omar’s request last year, British authorities in Egypt, where the couple were living, cited as one reason his “continuing loyalty” to his father and said his presence in Britain could cause “public concern”.

Ockelton said a person’s parents should not count against them in deciding whether they were allowed into Britain or now, but said Omar’s view that his father was not a terrorist “might cause concern”.

“It seems to me that the presence in the United Kingdom of a person closely related to Osama bin Laden and expressing the views that the appellant does express would be likely to cause public disquiet and perhaps public disorder,” he said.

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