January 17, 2012

Abu Qatada wins Jordan deportation appeal

Radical cleric Abu Qatada has won a European Court of Human Rights appeal against deportation from the UK to Jordan.
The judges accepted the UK's deal with Jordan to protect him from abuse was sound.
But the court said that the preacher might face trial based on evidence obtained by the torture of others.
Abu Qatada has fought for six years against deportation from the UK, saying he faced an unfair trial if sent home.
The British government can make a final attempt to appeal against the judgement before it becomes binding in three months' time. If it doesn't appeal, the cleric will have to be released from detention.
Qatada has been convicted in his absence of serious terrorism offences in Jordan. He said that not only were those convictions based on evidence extracted by torture, but he himself faced ill-treatment if he was returned.
The government signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan as part of its efforts to deport him, one of a number of deals with foreign regimes which are designed to protect the human rights of anyone deported from the UK.
In the ruling, the Strasbourg court said that diplomatic assurances given by Jordan to the UK meant that the cleric would be protected from torture if he were returned.
But the judges said that Qatada should not be deported while there remained a real risk that evidence obtained by the torture of others would be used against him.
A key part of his case is that he has only been implicated in two terrorism plots in Jordan because other suspects named him after they had been tortured.
Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian, has been accused of playing a key role in encouraging terrorism and extremism in the UK.
In 2009 the Law Lords backed the Home Secretary's decision to deport him, saying that he could receive a fair trial if returned to Jordan.

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