- Ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 64, along with Adil Khan, Qari Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz are taking their case to Court of Appeal to avoid being booted out the UK
- Their cases are being funded by the taxpayer through the Legal Aid fund
- They were first ordered to leave the country five years ago during their trials
Four men from the depraved Rochdale child sex abuse gang are continuing to fight against extradition to Pakistan - five years after they were ordered to leave the country.
Ringleader Shabir Ahmed, 64, along with Adil Khan, Qari Abdul Rauf and Abdul Aziz are taking their case to the Court of Appeal to avoid being booted out of the UK.
Their cases are being funded by the taxpayer through the Legal Aid fund.
Shabir Ahmed, the ringleader of the Rochdale sex gang, who was played by Simon Nagra in the BBC drama Three Girls (right), is fighting plans to deport him to Pakistan
Their trial at Liverpool Crown Court heard five girls - aged between 13 and 15 - were plied with alcohol, food and money in return for sex and subjected to violence.
Ahmed, a Pakistani who acquired British citizenship by naturalisation is serving a 22-year jail sentence after being convicted of a string of offences including rape in 2012.
As well as appealing against deportation Ahmed appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), claiming his convictions for child sex offences were a conspiracy by police and members of the jury to 'scapegoat' Muslims.
He told the court he was convicted by 'eleven white jurors', adding 'it's become fashionable to blame everything on Muslims these days.'
Judges in Strasbourg unanimously threw out his case, finding there was 'simply no proof' jurors acted improperly.
Adil Khan, Abdul Aziz and Qari Abdul Rauf are also fighting deportation
Of the nine men convicted over the scandal in 2012, only Shabir Ahmed, 64, who was caged for 22 years, and Mohammed Sajid, 40, who was jailed for 12 years, remain behind bars.
Adil Khan, 47, Abdul Rauf, 48, and Abdul Aziz, 46, have all been released on licence after going beyond the half-way point of their sentences.
Khan was convicted of two counts of engaging a child in sexual activity and one of trafficking a girl for sex within the UK.
Rauf was convicted of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child, while Aziz was convicted of trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
Five years ago, it was ordered they be stripped of their British citizenship and returned to Pakistan.
However they are still in the UK and have been granted permission to argue their publicly-funded case before the Court of Appeal.
Last week one of the gang's victims told how she 'just froze' when she came face-to-face with one of the abusers in Rochdale only a few weeks ago.
Speaking under the pseudonym Lily, the woman – who was groomed from the age of 11 – told Good Morning Britain that she hadn't been taken seriously by the authorities.
She said: 'I actually bumped into one [of the abusers] in my hometown a few weeks ago. I just, I just froze. I was like, there's nothing I can do – I've brought it to court, he was sentenced and now he's out.'
A date for the hearing has not yet been set.
A Home Office spokesman said: 'All four men have been granted permission to appeal at the Court of Appeal.'
Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey McCloskey, Britain's most senior immigration judge, has previously criticised the men's solicitors, the Nottingham-based firm Burton and Burton, for 'frankly shameful' behaviour.
He said they had failed to submit the necessary papers to the court and had repeatedly asked for adjournments.
The case has raised fears that convicted criminals are adopting a strategy of timewasting and obstructing the courts to try and to put off any possible deportation from the UK as long as possible.
MPs have accused lawyers of making money by 'gaming the system' and using delaying tactics to spin out cases.