BERLIN - An Afghan man who was allowed back into Germany after he was illegally expelled from the country has been finally granted asylum, according to a German court ruling published Friday. Hasmatullah Fazelpur, 23, was in September sent from Germany to Bulgaria - his first port of call in the European Union and which promptly put him on a plane back to Afghanistan. But it turned out a German court had issued an emergency injunction prior to the deportation - making the expulsion to Bulgaria illegal. German authorities were therefore ordered to take Fazelpur back.

After the expulsion confusion, Fazelpur found himself back in Frankfurt in mid-Dec. 6 months later, the court in Sigmaringen has finally granted him refugee status, allowing him to remain in Germany for at least 3 years. The good news for Fazelpur came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is battling to beat down a political crisis over her liberal refugee policy.

Merkel has been severely weakened by her decision to allow in more than a million asylum seekers in 2015 which has since sparked a backlash.

Her hardline Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Monday gave her up to the end of next week to curb migrant arrivals, failing which he will defy her by ordering migrants registered elsewhere in Europe sent back.

If he pushes through with his threat, Merkel could be forced to sack him, heralding the end of her coalition with Seehofer's CSU party.