Brent resident Abu Qatada will be deported to Jordan to face terror trial
Home Secretary Theresa May said father-of-five “deserves to face justice”
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada who was arrested at his Brent home this morning will be deported to Jordan, it has been announced.
The father-of-five, who was held by UK Border Agency, could be extradited by the end of the month to face a terror trial.
Home Secretary Theresa May said Qatada “deserves to face justice” in Jordan but warned that successive governments have been trying to deport him for 10 years and it may still take some time before he can be put on a plane.
Europe’s human rights judges have ruled that Qatada cannot be deported to Jordan without assurances that evidence gained through torture will not be used in his terror trial.
Lawyers for the Home Secretary will need to convince the commission that it has secured the assurances before Qatada can be deported.
Mrs May said: “We now have the material we need to satisfy the courts and continue with deportation.
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“Deportation may still take time. The proper process must be followed and the rule of law must take precedence.
“We can soon put Qatada on a plane and get him out of our country for good.”
The earliest he could be deported is April 30, it is understood.
Mrs May added that any appeal by Qatada could take “many months”, but it would have to be based on “narrow grounds” and the government has confidence in its “eventual success”.
Qatada, who has been described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, was first arrested after the 9/11 attacks following allegations he was one of the most influential Islamist preachers in Europe.
The 51-year-old, who has denied any wrong doing, was released from a maximum security jail in February and moved into the borough.
He lives in a rented �500,000 terrace family home under strict bail conditions which includes only being allowed to leave the property for two hours a day.
He is banned from attending a mosque, leading prayers, publishing any statement or meeting 27 named individuals. He is also not allowed to use a phone or the internet.