Businessman wins reprieve

A PROMINENT Asian businessman has won a temporary stay of execution against a deportation notice issued by the Home Office - just days before he was due to be thrown out of the country.

A PROMINENT Asian businessman has won a temporary stay of execution against a deportation notice issued by the Home Office - just days before he was due to be thrown out of the country.

Sajjadur Chowdhury spoke of his joy after his legal team worked round the clock to earn him a reprieve and keep him in Sudbury.

He is now facing up to a fresh legal fight following a six-year battle to remain in England, where he has worked and lived for eight years.

Mr Chowdhury, who runs North Street Newsagents and the Phalki restaurant in the town, told the EADT: “I am delighted that I will not be deported.

“But I know I will have to keep fighting and hope that commonsense will win through in the end. It is completely unfair and it seems as if the Government is picking on the wrong person.

“This issue has been hanging over my head for six years and it has been heartbreaking for me. I have had so much support within the town and, no matter what, I would just like to thank everyone.”

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Mr Chowdhury, 35, known to locals as Sam, was ordered to report to Heathrow Airport tomorrow from where he would be flown back to his native Bangladesh.

But his solicitor, Moynul Islam , confirmed that Mr Chowdhury had been granted a reprieve and would now prepare a fresh legal challenge.

The latest twist follows a series of immigration appeals and judicial reviews after Home Office chiefs took his passport away following the break-up of his marriage six years ago.

His campaign, backed by more than 4,000 customers and friends who have signed petitions, drew support from Lord Phillips of Sudbury and South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo.

In a letter to Home Office minister Liam Byrne, Mr Yeo said: “As you are aware, there is immense support for Mr Chowdhury's request to remain in this country and your officials' decision that he should be deported has been met with utter disbelief.

“I am not satisfied that my representations on behalf of my constituent have been given the attention they merit.”

A Home Office spokesman said he was unable to comment on individual cases.

dave.gooderham@eadt.co.uk