Radical cleric Abu Qatada wins appeal against deportation to Jordan
Judges in Britain have supported an appeal made by terror suspect Abu Qatada against his extradition to Jordan.
The British judges said his extradition would be incorrect as evidence gained by torture might be used against him if he were sent to Jordan.
The British government denounced the decision and said it would appeal. Home Secretary Theresa May had been guaranteed by Jordan that no evidence obtained by torture would be used against Qatada, but a panel of judges made a decision that a fair trial could not be assured.
Qatada is an Islamist preacher who has been portrayed as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. He claimed asylum in Britain in 1993.
Jordan found him guilty in absence on terror charges and he is now wanted for a re-trial, charged with conspiring to carry out terror attacks on Western and Israeli targets.
“It’s a huge blow for the Home Office and the UK government because it further frustrates decade-long attempts by the UK government to actually deport Abu Qatada,” said Valentina Soria, a counter-terrorism and security expert at the Royal United Services Institute in London.
Qatada has been imprisoned a number of times in Britain over the last ten years. Now he is expected to be released from prison on bail on Tuesday, but with firm restrictions on his movements and communication.
Jordan’s acting information minister, Nayef al-Fayez, said his government agrees with the British government’s “disappointment and concern” over the ruling on Monday.