26/02/2007

Radical cleric loses deportation appeal

Radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada has lost his appeal against a Home Office move to deport him to Jordan.

Qatada - also known as Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman - is suspected of being a high-ranking member of al Qaeda and is wanted in Jordan for involvement in a series of terror attacks.

He was convicted of involvement in the attacks in his absence. However, Qatada has also denied claims that he has links with al Qaeda and has insisted that he has never met Osama Bin Laden.

The ruling, made by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac), is of huge significance to the Home Office as it relates to a crucial part of the government's anti-terror policy - an agreement between the British government and countries accused of using torture guaranteeing that deportees will not face being tortured or mistreated.

The agreement, called a Memoranda of Understanding, was signed between the UK government and Jordan in 2005.

During Siac hearings last May, Qatada's lawyers argued that part of the government's case against him was based on evidence extracted by torture.

However, Siac ruled that Qatada faced "no real risk of persecution" if he was deported to Jordan.

Ian Burnett QC, a lawyer for the Home Secretary said that it would be "extraordinary" if Jordan did not comply with the diplomatic assurances of the MOU.

Home Secretary John Reid welcomed the decision and said: "It is our firm belief that these agreements strike the right balance between allowing us to deport individuals who threaten the security of this country and safeguarding the rights of these individuals on their return."

(KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

10 May 2012
Qatada Loses Appeal Against Deportation
Judges at the European court of human rights have rejected an appeal by Abu Qatada against his extradition. Home Secretary Theresa May is now to make a fresh attempt to deport the cleric to Jordon. May said: "I am pleased by the European court's decision. The Qatada case will now go through the British courts.
14 June 2013
Qatada Deportation Saga Has Cost UK Over £1.7m
The UK has spent more than £1.7 million so far, in its efforts to remove radical cleric Abu Qatada. A letter from Theresa May to MPs has revealed that since 2005, the cost to the UK has been £1,716,306. Abu Qatada has been fighting against a deportation order to Jordan, where he faces retrial for bomb attacks.
13 November 2012
Government 'Determined' To Deport Qatada
Nick Clegg has said the government is "absolutely determined" to deport Muslim cleric Abu Qatada. Speaking on ITV’s Daybreak, the deputy prime minister said: "He should not be in this country, he is a dangerous person." Having won his appeal against deportation on Monday, Qatada will be released later from Long Lartin prison, in Worcestershire.
02 April 2003
Home nations set for Euro 2004 qualifying action
England go into tonight's home Euro 2004 fixture against Turkey at the Stadium of Light looking for a victory that will take them to the top of group 7. While Sven Goran Eriksson's side have been criticised in some quarters for lacking passion in recent matches his team are still favourites for a victory tonight.
31 March 2003
Two soldiers sent home over war protests
Two soldiers have been sent from the Middle East over their opposition to the war in Iraq. The men, members of the 16th Air Assault Brigade, were returned to their barracks in Colchester before war commenced according to reports.