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.

 

Chief negotiator of Syria opposition quits over failed talks

Iraq forces enter ISIS-held Fallujah from three directions

Bahrain appeal court ramps up jail sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman

Sanctions gone, Iran drums up business with West

Plastic replaces glass in Syria window-less city

Jordan heads into elections by fall after parliament dissolution

Turkey to abandon migrant deal if no visa-free travel

Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader to life in prison

Kuwait jails members of ruling family for insulting Emir

Tunisia blames ‘terrorist elements’ for deadly landmine blast

Turkey offers to join forces for Syria operation -- without Kurds

Starving Iraqis risk all to flee crumbling rule of ISIS

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition’ in Iraq

Israel police send Netanyahu spending file to prosecutors

Bahrain court upholds life terms for five 'spies'

Investigators need 12 days to recover EgyptAir black boxes

Iraq troops prepare for final assault on ISIS-held Fallujah

Iraq Kurdish forces launch offensive east of Mosul

Shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim up to 700 lives in one week

Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Hajj impasse

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change

Iran moderate conservative retains parliament speakership

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq

Khamenei urges Iran lawmakers to resist Western 'schemes'

ISIS-rebel clashes grip northeast Syria town

New US law could sanction Hezbollah officials

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott