After a decade of legal wrangling an appeal court decision has made it all but impossible for the government to deport Abu Qatada. The three judges ruled there is a "real risk of a flagrant denial of justice" if the radical cleric has to stand trial in Jordan on terror charges.
The Home Office insists the legal battle isn't over. Juliet Bremner reports from the Royal Courts of Justice.
– Yvette Cooper, Shadow home secretary
This is an extremely serious and disappointing judgment which rips apart Theresa May's strategy for deporting Abu Qatada and contradicts her repeated assurances to Parliament that her approach would get him swiftly on to a plane.
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.
Appeal Judges upheld a decision made in November by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC):
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.
Lord Dyson, 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.
There's a strong possibility now that the Home Secretary may try for a conviction for Abu Qatada in the British courts.