Adil Smaali, singer with the Montpellier-based group SimSim, says he is hopeful that he will be given a residence permit and that the local préfecture’s order that he leave France will be overturned.
The singer’s friends and supporters gathered outside the Tribunal Administratif de Montpellier, where his case was examined this morning.
Adil will have to wait a week or two for a formal decision in writing, but he said the indications were that his appeal against the threatened expulsion would be granted. The reporting judge at the Montpellier tribunal has asked for the préfecture’s decision to be annulled and for Adil to be given a residence permit within two months. Her recommendation will now be considered by three other judges, who will convey their final decision to Adil’s lawyer and the préfecture.
Adil has built up a life for himself in Montpellier; he is well-known in the local music scene and has been involved in such events as the Internationales de la Guitare and the Festival Arabesques. He has a French girlfriend and a wide circle of friends who are supporting him.
When Adil arrived in France in 2005 on a one-year visa, he was considered as an “isolated minor” and was placed with foster families. At 18, he was further assisted by the local authorities and was given a contract to train as a stage technician. He applied for a residence permit, but received no concrete decision until August this year, when he was told to leave.