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'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years

Published: 25 Aug 2014 17:21 GMT+02:00

In 1997, a foreigner in Sweden was sentenced to prison for aggravated robbery. 
 
He served his sentence and was released in 2003 - facing immediate deportation.
 
However, while serving time, the man claims to have lost his memory, making deportation papers hard to sign for the Swedish police. 
 
Indeed - they don't know where to send him.
 
"This is a unique case. I've not seen anything like it during my 40 years on the job," the man's lawyer Peter Althin told The Local.
 
When the man came out of prison in 2003, he was convinced that he had come from the Soviet Union, Althin explained, but when officials there checked their database, they were unable to find a trace of the man.
 
He has since "remembered" that he hails from a host of different countries - from Canada to Kazakhstan - reported the Värmlands Folkblad newspaper.
 
But none of his guesses appeared to be right, and furthermore, officials were unable to prove that the man has not truly lost his memory. 
 
After a two-year fight to get the man out of custody and back into life, Althin said that the struggle continues to get the man into Swedish society.
 
"We want to get him permanent residence so he can stay and have the same benefits as anyone else. He's been living here for so many years and he hasn't done anything wrong. He's living in a vacuum just waiting for deportation."
 
On Monday, the board asked the Migration Court of Appeal (Migrationsöverdomstolen) to take up the case. The man, 44, earns a living as an artist in Karlstad, central Sweden. 
 

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Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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