Abu Qatada released from prison

Abu Qatada arrives back at his home in London

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, in Worcestershire. He has spent most of the last 10 years in custody.

A UK court approved his appeal against deportation after deciding witness evidence obtained by torture might be used at trial in Jordan.

The government believes the wrong legal test was applied and is to appeal.

“We had received a number of assurances from the Jordanian government – they had even changed their constitution,” a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron said.

“We believe that we have got the right assurances from the Jordanian government.”

He added: “The Home Office will be ensuring that we take all the steps necessary to ensure that Qatada does not present a risk to national security.”

Jordan’s acting information minister Nayef al-Fayez told the BBC his government shared UK authorities’ disappointment at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) ruling on Monday.

When Abu Qatada arrived back at his home in London, around lunchtime on Tuesday, a small group of protesters – holding a “get rid of Abu Qatada placard” – gathered outside and chanted, “Out, out, out.”

Earlier this year, judges at the European Court in Strasbourg ruled the cleric – whose real name is Omar Othman – would not face ill-treatment if returned to Jordan, citing assurances outlined in a UK-Jordan agreement.

Crucially, however, the judge did not believe he would get a fair trial because a Jordanian court could use evidence against Abu Qatada that had been obtained from the torture of others.

On Monday, despite the UK obtaining additional assurances from Jordan, Siac chairman Mr Justice Mitting ruled he was not satisfied Abu Qatada would be tried fairly.


BBC has the full article

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