Albanian cannabis farmer wins deportation battle from Britain by claiming he has forgotten the native language

Clirim Kukaj will remain in Britain after winning an appeal against his deportation having claimed he can no longer speak Serbian, despite growing up there until the age of 13 and living with his brother, who is Serbian

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke

An ethnic Albanian convicted in Britain of growing cannabis has successfully argued against his deportation back to Serbia where he lived until his teens because he has forgotten how to speak the language and such a move would breach his human rights.

Clirim Kukaj, 30, was arrested at a cannabis farm in Cambridgeshire back in May 2020 where police recovered 580 plants with a street value of nearly £500,000.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court the following month after pleading guilty to being involved in the production of cannabis.

Following his release, the Home Office sought to deport him back to Serbia where he lived until the age of 13 before arriving illegally in Britain in April 2007. His family claimed asylum but were refused; however, they were granted discretionary leave to remain until June 2010. He was eventually granted indefinite leave to remain in April 2014.

At an immigration hearing this week, Kukaj’s lawyers successfully argued that deportation back to Serbia would be a breach of his human rights as he no longer speaks the language. This is despite him living there for over a decade and the fact that he currently lives with his brother who is Serbian.

The Home Office unsuccessfully argued that even if he can no longer speak Serbian, the fact that Albanian is a language spoken in Serbia would assist with his integration.

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