Abu Qatada remains in UK while legal fight rages on

The Government says the legal fight to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan is not over, despite suffering another setback.

Radical preacher, Abu Qatada
Radical preacher, Abu Qatada Credit: Press Association

The Home Secretary's legal team argued Qatada was a "truly dangerous" individual who had only escaped deportation through "errors of law". But today three Judges dismissed a challenge which means Qatada can stay in the UK.

  • Abu Qatada was convicted of terror charges in Jordan in 1999
  • But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission says there is a risk evidence obtained through torture will be used against him at a retrial
  • The Home Secretary appealed and disputed that claim
  • But that was dismissed by Judges unanimously today

SIAC was entitled to conclude that there is a real risk that the impugned statements will be admitted in evidence at a retrial and that, in consequence, there is a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice.

– APPEAL JUDGES' STATEMENT

Lord Dyson, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Elias, said the court accepted that Qatada "is regarded as a very dangerous person", but that was not "a relevant consideration" under human rights laws.

Home Secretary, Theresa May
Home Secretary, Theresa May Credit: Press Association

This is not the end of the road, and the Government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada.

We will consider this judgment carefully and plan to seek leave to appeal.

In the meantime we continue to work with the Jordanians to address the outstanding legal issues preventing deportation

– HOME OFFICE STATEMENT

The legal costs of fighting this case have so far cost the British taxpayer £1 million. Keith Vaz MP, Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee said after seven years, successive Home Secretaries had failed to deport Qatada, which meant it was time to look at new avenues.

If Mr Qatada is such a threat, he should be charged and tried in a British court. We need to look at legislating to ensure we can remove criminals who pose a very serious risk to Britain's security, so this farcical situation cannot happen again.