Syrian man claims asylum
A man who illegally entered Gibraltar by jumping the fence and who claims he is a Syrian national is seeking asylum in Gibraltar.
The man tried to enter Gibraltar on Thursday through the land frontier but was refused entry by Borders and Coastguards officers on account of his “invalid” passport.
Later on the same day and with the guidance of an ‘unknown male’ he climbed through a hole and over the fence at the eastern end of the runway.
Once in Gibraltar he made his way along the reclamation area and into the restricted area. He hid his passport under a rock and made his way into town, the Magistrates Court heard yesterday.
In the area of Edinburgh Estate he approached a passerby and informed them that he had no valid documentation and the police were called.
After being held in police cells overnight he was taken to the Magistrates Court yesterday morning where he was granted legal aid.
His lawyer, John Restano, QC, told the court that his client is an asylum seeker and wishes to be treated as such.
In that scenario, Mr Restano said, the charge does not apply to his client.
Stipendiary Magistrate Charles Pitto therefore released the defendant from the charge pending the outcome of the asylum application.
The procedure can be restored should the application fail, Mr Pitto warned.
James Lennane appeared for the Crown.