Kweku Adoboli, the banker convicted of the UK’s biggest fraud, has been given a last-minute reprieve from deportation as a judge awarded a judicial review of his case. Adoboli, 38, was found guilty in 2012 of fraud that lost his employer UBS $2.3bn (£1.8bn), and he was due to be deported to Ghana on Tuesday. He was facing deportation because he had never applied for British citizenship despite having lived in the UK since he was 12.
Under UK law, if a foreign national has been sentenced to more than four years in jail “the public interest requires deportation unless there are very compelling circumstances.” Adoboli, who left Ghana when he was four, was sentenced to seven years for the fraud and served half that time. Adoboli’s deportation appeared all but sealed earlier on Monday when the immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, refused to intervene to review the deportation order, despite appeals from 132 MPs and a petition signed by more than 73,000 people.
Nokes said the decision to deport Adoboli had been “upheld independently, at several stages, by the courts” and it would be inappropriate for her to act. With the hours ticking down to his departure, Adoboli’s lawyers submitted an application for a judicial review of his case in a last-ditch attempt to prevent his “banishment” from his friends and family in the UK. Adoboli had already had an application for judicial review rejected by the courts, and his lawyers were not confident the final attempt – made on public interest grounds – would succeed. But a judge granted the appeal for judicial review and injunction against deportation.
Adoboli’s lawyer, Jacqui McKenzie, said: “Common sense has broken out: sending a 38-year-old man to a country where he has not lived since the age of four was always madness, given that he has lived in Britain since the age of 12 and the UK is where his friends and partner live and where his family life is based. It is unquestionably his home. Let’s hope that will be the judgment, as and when it is made.”