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.


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007