First Published: 2012-11-12

 

Blow to Britain: Abu Qatada will not be deported to Jordan

 

Radical Islamist preacher wins appeal against deportation to Jordan as British judges rule there is risk of evidence obtained by torture being used against him.

 

Middle East Online

Abu Qatada was convicted in his absence in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks

LONDON - British judges on Monday upheld an appeal by terror suspect Abu Qatada against his extradition to Jordan, ruling that there was a risk of evidence obtained by torture being used against him.

The government in London immediately condemned the decision and said it would continue its fight to deport Abu Qatada, an Islamist preacher who has been described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe.

The 51-year-old was convicted in his absence in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks.

British interior minister Theresa May had ordered his extradition after she was given assurances by Jordanian authorities that no evidence gained through torture would be used against him in a retrial on his return to Jordan.

But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, a semi-secret panel of British judges that deals with decisions on national security, said it could not be guaranteed that Qatada would receive fair treatment.

"We are satisfied that the Secretary of State should have exercised her discretion differently and should not have declined to revoke the deportation order," the commission said in its ruling.

"Accordingly, this appeal is allowed."

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) had ruled earlier this year that he could not be deported while there was a "real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him".

The SIAC ruling said statements from Abu Qatada's former co-defendants -- Al-Hamasher and Abu Hawsher -- which were alleged to have been obtained by torture created a risk that his trial would be unfair.

It said last month while hearing his appeal that some of the evidence against him was "extremely thin".

May was due to address parliament later Monday.

The Home Office said it would seek leave to appeal.

"The Government strongly disagrees with this ruling," a Home Office spokesman said in a statement.

"We have obtained assurances not just in relation to the treatment of Qatada himself, but about the quality of the legal processes that would be followed throughout his trial.

"Indeed, today's ruling found that 'the Jordanian judiciary, like their executive counterparts, are determined to ensure that the appellant will receive, and be seen to receive, a fair retrial.'

"We will therefore seek leave to appeal today's decision."

Abu Qatada claimed asylum in Britain in 1993.

He has spent most of the last seven years in British jails and is being held in a high-security prison while he fights deportation.

In October Britain extradited another radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza, and four other terror suspects to the United States at the end of a long legal battle.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Jihadists flock to fight on ‘unprecedented scale’

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

US to examine troops exposed to chemicals in Iraq

African Union hits back at Somalia rape claims

New scare in Turkey as ‘suspect packages’ found

‘Insults against Netanyahu’ cause embarrassment to US

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli