Terror suspect Abu Qatada will be released from prison in Worcestershire today after winning the latest round in his legal fight against deportation to Jordan.
Judges at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) yesterday ruled that evidence gained through torture could still be used against him, denying him the right to a fair trial.
Earlier this year the Home Secretary said she was given assurances by the Middle East country that this wouldn't happen, and will appeal the SIAC ruling.
– HOME OFFICE
The Government strongly disagrees with this ruling. We have obtained assurances not just in relation to the treatment of Qatada himself, but about the quality of the legal processes that would be followed throughout his trial. Indeed, today's ruling found that 'the Jordanian judiciary, like their executive counterparts, are determined to ensure that the appellant will receive, and be seen to receive, a fair retrial'. We will therefore seek leave to appeal today's decision.
ITV News' Juliet Bremner reports:
Once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, Qatada was convicted of terror charges in Jordan his absence in 1999.
After his release he will face the following bail conditions:
- The cleric will be subject to a 16-hour curfew and will be allowed out between 8am and 4pm
- He will be bailed to his home address
- Qatada will have to wear an electronic tag and will be subject to similar bail conditions to when he was previously released, including being barred from using the internet and being forbidden from contacting certain named people
Labour said yesterday's judgment was worrying and went against Government promises.
– YVETTE COOPER MP, LABOUR’S SHADOW HOME SECRETARY
This is an extremely serious and worrying judgement which completely contradicts Theresa May's repeated assurances that she had the right legal strategy to get Abu Qatada deported to Jordan.
According to security experts, the Home Secretary and the courts this is an extremely dangerous man, and we all want him to be deported to stand fair trial abroad as soon as possible and to be held in custody in the meantime.
Yet it now appears we face the prospect of Abu Qatada walking the streets of London and remaining at liberty in this country instead. The Home Secretary is right to appeal against this worrying judgement as every avenue to secure his deportation must be pursued.