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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Abu Qatada deportation rejected

Muslim cleric Abu Qatada has been freed on bail after a UK court ruled he might not get a fair trial if deported to Jordan to face terrorism charges.  He was released from Long Lartin prison after spending most of the last 10 years in custody.

Abu Qatada featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the September 11 bombers and was dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) approved his appeal against deportation after hearing that witness evidence obtained by torture could be used at his trial in Jordan.  Despite the UK obtaining additional assurances from Jordan, Cambridge educated SIAC chairman Mr Justice Mitting was not satisfied that a fair trial would take place.

The decision to uphold his appeal is a major blow to the British government who have been trying to have him deported for seven years.  David Cameron said "We have moved heaven and earth to try to comply with every single dot and comma of every single convention to get him out of the country - it is extremely frustrating and I share the British people's frustration with the situation we find ourselves in."

It is now up to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to get Jordan to convince the UK's Court of Appeal that SAIC got it wrong and overturn its decision.

Jordan's acting information minister Nayef- al-Fayez said his government was also disappointed by SIAC's decision on Monday.