16 Mar 2015

Torture risk means attacker to stay in NZ

3:15 pm on 16 March 2015

A Sri Lankan man, jailed for seven years for a vicious hammer attack, has been told he can stay in New Zealand because it would be too dangerous for him to be sent home.

The man's lawyer David Ryken said the Government sought to deport the Tamil refugee due to his offending.

It argued he could be deported because the threat of persecution he faced when he applied for asylum no longer existed.

However the Immigration and Protection Tribunal ruled that a tiger tattoo across the man's back placed him at increased risk of torture if he was returned to Sri Lanka.

He had already been tortured by Sri Lankan authorities as a suspected Tamil Tiger. In 1998, he was beaten while upside down, had his head covered with a bag of petrol and his fingernails removed.

Read the full decision here (PDF)