The Court of Appeal has refused Home Secretary Theresa May permission to appeal the release of Islamic political activist Raed Salah on bail while he fights a deportation case.
Sheikh Salah, the leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was bailed by the High Court a fortnight ago. He was initially detained in London last month after allegedly flouting a ban on entering Britain imposed by the Home Office.
Court of Appeal judges rejected Home Office lawyers' attempts to appeal the bail order on Wednesday. The activist would have been returned to prison if the Home Office had been successful.
Sheikh Salah's solicitor, Tayab Ali, said: "We trust that, following today's decision, the Home Secretary will accept that her approach to Sheikh Salah's case has been misconceived and counter-productive."
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are very disappointed with the court's decision and will monitor Salah’s activities extremely closely. We are still seeking to deport him.”
The 52-year-old father-of-eight is expected to remain in the country until his full deportation case is heard. That is unlikely to take place until September.
As part of the bail agreement he is now electronically tagged, must report daily to an immigration centre and observe a 15-hour nightly curfew. He is also banned from speaking in public.