Two men who were part of a notorious Rochdale grooming gang will fight deportation from the UK by invoking their human rights.
Adil Khan, 51, and Qari Abdul Rauf, 52, were told more than a decade ago they are to be sent back to Pakistan for the public good after both were part of a gang convicted of a catalogue of serious sex offences against young girls.
Both are appealing against the deportation order served on them last July, on the grounds of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - their right to a private and family life.
Khan got a 13-year-old girl pregnant but denied he was the father, then met another girl, who was 15, and trafficked her to others, using violence when she complained.
He was sentenced to eight years in 2012 and released on licence four years later.
Rauf, a father-of-five, trafficked a 15-year-old girl for sex, driving her to secluded areas to have sex with her in his taxi and ferrying her to a flat in Rochdale where he and others had sex with her.
He was jailed for six years and released in November 2014 after serving two years and six months of his sentence.
They pair were part of a nine-strong gang of Asian men convicted of sex offences against vulnerable girls in 2012.
At an immigration tribunal case management hearing held by video-link, judges were told there must be a hearing to consider the issue of "statelessness".
Khan claims to have renounced his Pakistani citizenship which would make him "stateless" and a bar to deportation.
Both Rauf's and the Government's lawyers must now instruct experts in Pakistani law.
The hearing has been adjourned until a date in September - 13 years after Rauf and Khan first committed the offences.
Last month Khan told a preliminary hearing: "We have not committed that big a crime' to the fury of his victims.
For 2008, girls as young as 12 were plied with alcohol and drugs and gang-raped in rooms above takeaway shops and ferried to different flats in taxis where cash was paid to use the girls.
Police said as many as 47 girls were groomed.
Khan, Rauf and another man, Abdul Aziz, then fought, and lost, a long legal battle against the deprivation order, losing a final Court of Appeal ruling in 2018.
But the failure to then deport any of the four, almost a decade after their conviction, has led to anger in Rochdale, where victims were living alongside their tormentors, and leading to has heaped public criticism on a number of home secretaries.