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Dentist said he had right to work, says director who gave references.

THE director of the body which wrote letters of recommendation for a dentist accused of lying his way into the UK and faking documents, yesterday said he claimed he had the right to work.

But Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard that Muhammed Ismaeel Saman at no time had the right to be employed.

Saman is accused of gaining employment through a series of forged documents, working as a senior house officer with Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust in the oral and maxilofacial unit, and later in a professional training post for the trust.

Yesterday Dr Margaret Wilson, director of the National Advice Centre for Postgraduate Dental Education (NACPDE) and consultant at the Manchester Dental Hospital, told the court that she had met Saman and provided advice on how to practise as a dentist in the UK. He told her he wanted to specialise in oral surgery and claimed that he was a refugee with the right to work.

It meant becoming a member of the Faculty of Dental Surgery, achieved by passing exams and providing clinical references from Iraq.

The court was told it was "highly probable" that Saman had penned a hand-written reference himself.

On informing the NACPDE that he had passed the relevant exam, and providing references, the NACPDE wrote a letter of recommendation, followed by a further letter stating that he had exceptional leave to remain in the UK.

"I put it in the letter because that's what he told me," said Dr Wilson.

The letters enabled Saman to apply for clinical attachment or senior house officer posts, and without them it would have been impossible for him to apply.

When Saman went back for the second letter, he said it needed to be "more specific".

Saman, 33, of Splott Road, Cardiff, is charged with 15 counts of obtaining leave to enter the UK by deception, using a false instrument with intent, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, possessing false identity documentation and possessing articles for frauds.

Despite being prohibited from working, Saman managed to secure employment, and was eventually arrested by the UK Border Agency in July last year at The Hollies Health Centre, Merthyr Tydfil.

The trial was adjourned until next Monday.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 12, 2010
Words:379
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