Decision No. 495/2000 of the Committee of Injunctions of the Council of State

Summary of facts:On 1.4.2000, the Ministry of Public Order withdrew the Applicant's (a Turkish national) refugee status and ordered his expulsion on the grounds that "while in Greece, he had illegal activities and participated in acts that might prejudice the country's public security". The Applicant appealed, pursuant to Presidential Decree 61/99, against this decision before the Minister of Public Order. His appeal was accepted concerning his refugee status – which he maintained – but was rejected for the expulsion part. More concretely, according to the decision under appeal and pursuant to art. 32 and 33 of the Geneva Convention, "while in Greece and as a refugee he had been arrested, tried and finally condemned for particularly serious criminal offences and thus represents a danger for the country". According to his file, he had been finally tried and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and financial penalty for illegal employment of undocumented aliens, facilitation of illegal stay of aliens and withholding of documents. More in detail, the Applicant, as proved by the police investigations in January 2000, was the manager of a night club in Agrinio which employed alien women without residence permit in Greece, offered them board and lodging and was withholding and keeping their passports so as to prevent them from leaving his night club. Further to this, according to a MPO submission to the Court, the Applicant had also been condemned to 6 months imprisonment for illegal construction work, while a Cyprus Court had, in 1997, condemned him to a year's imprisonment for entry into Cyprus with a forged passport. The Applicant appealed before the Council of State for the annulment of this decision and requested temporary judicial protection. 

Reasoning and decision:

A) The Committee took note of art. 52 of P.D. 18/1989 stipulating that: ".. an injunction to suspend enforcement of an act is admitted when enforcement might cause irreparable damage to the Applicant, in case his application for annulment were accepted. However, the injunction may be rejected, after the court weighs the damage to the applicant, the damage to third parties and public interest and concludes that the negative effects from accepting the injunction may be more serious than the benefit for the Applicant..".

B) According to the said act, which refers to art. 33 of the Geneva Convention, expulsion in this case implies his deportation to Turkey. Given the Applicant's refugee status though, which means that the Administration considered that this person would face persecution if he returned to Turkey, the Committee considered that an immediate enforcement of the said decision, might cause irreparable damage to the Applicant, in case his application for annulment were accepted. For this reason enforcement should be suspended till a final ruling on the case by the Council of State is delivered, despite the fact that expulsion has been indeed ordered for the protection of public order. C) Given that the enforcement of the expulsion is suspended, the Applicant's detention should cease and his residence permit be returned to him. However, due to the serious nature of the offences committed by the Applicant, for reasons of public order, he should be kept away from the city of Agrinio, where the offences were committed.  

The Committee granted temporary suspension of the enforcement of the deportation order.


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