Dr Leghaei, an imam at the Shia Imam Husain Islamic Centre at Earlwood in Sydney’s inner west, was ordered to leave Australia after ASIO issued an adverse security assessment when he applied for permanent residence in 1995.
But neither ASIO nor the government will tell him the reasons behind the decision, saying they are not required to because he is not an Australian citizen.
Dr Leghaei spent more than a decade trying to have his case heard in the federal and high courts without success, but the legal action did bring to light some of the reasons behind ASIO’s decision to make an adverse security assessment against him.
The security organisation translated the Arabic student diaries belonging to Dr Leghaei and claimed they promoted jihad, but two subsequent translations found no such evidence.
An anonymous and unsubstantiated letter claiming Dr Leghaei had links to an obscure French terrorism cell was also used in ASIO’s determination that he had carried out “acts of interference”.
Dr Leghaei’s wife, Marzieh, and son Mohammed Ali, 21, both applied for permanent residence on the same paperwork as the sheik and their request was granted.