The appellant is a Ghanaian national who was rescued and disembarked in Malta in July 2021 and declared that he is a minor upon arrival. He was directly detained upon disembarkation and issued with a removal order in August 2021. It later transpired that the appellant had applied for asylum and consequently the Principal Immigration Officer (PIO) suspended the removal order and issued a detention order which was appealed.
The appellant was initially rejected following an age assessment procedure but filed an appeal against the decision from the Agency for the Welfare of Asylum Seekers (AWAS). The age assessment appeal was still ongoing at the time of the detention order appeal.
The Board noted that since the appellant had appealed his age assessment decision, the presumption is that he should be considered a minor and therefore the detention order should be withdrawn, and the appellant must be put in the care of AWAS.
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