Britain grants Qatada bail after deportation appeal upheld

LONDON Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:18pm GMT

Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada is driven from a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) hearing in central London April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada is driven from a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) hearing in central London April 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada won a last-minute appeal on Monday against deportation from Britain to face terrorism charges in Jordan, a blow to the Conservative-led government that says he is a huge security risk.

Britain, where Qatada has been in and out of jail for seven years without charge since his arrest in 2002, had argued that a 2005 deal with Jordan and more recent diplomatic assurances would ensure that Qatada would obtain a fair trial there.

Qatada said his trial might be skewed by evidence obtained using torture, a claim upheld in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

He will be released on Tuesday under bail conditions that include a 16-hour curfew at his London home.

A Jordanian of Palestinian origin, described by a Spanish judge as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe", he has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments.

Britain says videos of his sermons influenced Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Monday's ruling, delivered at a special court that deals with security cases, said Home Secretary Theresa May had been wrong not to revoke an earlier deportation ruling against Qatada, and allowed his appeal.

The decision is a setback for May and the government, both keen to foster an image of competence and decisiveness on security issues.

Jordan has convicted him in his absence of encouraging militants there who were planned bomb attacks in 1999 and 2000.

May's department said in a statement it strongly disagreed with the ruling and would seek leave to appeal.

Robin Tam, a lawyer for the British government, told the court that Qatada "remains a man who poses an enormous risk to national security".

Britain's failure to deport Qatada contrasts with its success last month in extraditing to the U.S. another radical cleric, Abu Hamza, who fought deportation for eight years.

(Editing by Louise Ireland)

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Comments (6)
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Whom is actually in control?

The UK govt or these far ‘too’ independent Courts…

Enough is enough.

No wonder the country cant deal with illegal immigration when the likes of Abu Qatada remains here.

Begging to believe the ‘Russian’ way is best.

Nov 12, 2012 1:07pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
Raymond.Vermont wrote:
Isnt about time the UK Home Secretary has power to overrule any ‘terrorism’ related decision made in either EU or UK Courts, via UK Govt Executive Authority Powers?

The Courts are acting against the best interests of the State.

Nov 12, 2012 1:13pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
Cameron grow some!!!!!

All you have to do is put that animal on a plane, dump him over Jordan @ 30,000 ft – parachute is at your discretion – you will have the whole nation behind you!

BUT you are more interested in acting as lapdog to the ECHR!! What can they do – send the whole UK to jail???

Nov 12, 2012 4:46pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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