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Qatada exit secured by UK Jordan treaty

Abu Qatada, left, is expected to leave Britain overnight. Credit: PA

Following numerous courtroom battles, it was a treaty signed between the UK and Jordan that finally secured Abu Qatada's departure, giving the radical preacher the assurances he insisted he needed to leave his taxpayer-funded home behind.

The agreement, unveiled by the Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year, aims to allay fears that evidence extracted through torture will be used against the father-of-five at a retrial.

In a shock decision, Qatada pledged in May to leave Britain - with his family in tow - if and when the treaty was fully ratified, a process that concluded earlier this week, to the relief of many.

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Abu Qatada expected to leave Britain tonight

Abu Qatada pictured in 2012. Credit: PA

A near decade-long battle to remove Abu Qatada from Britain is expected to come to an end overnight when the controversial cleric finally leaves for Jordan.

After spending at least £1.7 million trying to eject the terror suspect from UK shores, the Home Office is understood to be preparing to put the 53-year-old on a military flight at RAF Northolt, west London, at around 2am tomorrow.

Qatada expected to fly to Jordan

A near decade-long battle to remove Abu Qatada from Britain is expected to come to a head overnight when the controversial cleric finally leaves for Jordan.

Abu Qatada
Qatada has been in Belmarsh prison after breaching a bail condition which restricted use of mobile phones and other communication devices. Credit: Reuters/Neil Hall

After spending at least £1.7 million trying to eject the terror suspect from UK shores, the Home Office is understood to be preparing to put the 53-year-old on a military flight at RAF Northolt, west London, at around 2am tomorrow.

Following numerous courtroom battles, it was a treaty signed between the UK and Jordan that finally secured Qatada's departure, giving the radical preacher the assurances he insisted he needed to leave his taxpayer-funded home behind.

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Abu Qatada's bail appeal denied at immigration tribunal

Abu Qatada's lawyer has today described him as a "proud and dignified man". Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Radical cleric Abu Qatada's bid to be released from custody following the revoking of his bail has been refused.

The terror suspect, who recently pledged to voluntarily leave Britain after years of fighting deportation, was jailed in Belmarsh prison in March when his bail was revoked.

Requesting his release from custody at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, Qatada's lawyer Daniel Friedman QC said his client was a "proud and dignified man" who "has been deprived of his liberty more than any other non-convicted person in British history".

Qatada allegedly breached bail conditions which prevent him from turning mobile phones and possessing other communication devices at his home in London.

Earlier this month, it emerged the controversial preacher is willing to return to the Middle East when a treaty between the UK and Jordan is ratified by both countries.

Read: Full coverage of Qatada's Jordan extradition deal

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May signs treaty over Abu Qatada deportation

Home Secretary Theresa May has told MPs that a new treaty signed by the British and Jordanian governments will "finally make possible" the deportation of the radical cleric Abu Qatada.

Qatada, who lives in London, faces terror charges in Jordan.

His legal team claims evidence obtained by torture could be presented in a re-trial.

But Mrs May also warned that even with the treaty, Qatada can still appeal against any new rulings on his extradition.

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Theresa May criticised by Tory colleague over Qatada

Mark Reckless
Mark Reckless says the European Court has moved the goalposts over Qatada. Credit: ITV News

Conservative MP Mark Reckless has criticised Theresa May’s legal strategy over the attempted deportation of Abu Qatada – but added that she has one more chance to succeed.

He said: “The Home Secretary has pursued throughout the wrong legal strategy, she’s got one last chance and what she needs to do is to put the key constitutional questions to the Supreme Court – who has the last word, Strasbourg or the Supreme Court?

"If she does that, I think she can still win.”

The Court of Appeal turned down May’s attempt to take to the Supreme Court her fight to have Qatada deported and she will now appeal directly to the highest court in the country.

Reckless added: “There is a real chance but she needs a proper point of law to argue…

“She needs to make this big constitutional argument because we can win that.”

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Yvette Cooper condemns efforts to deport Qatada

Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper says there is a risk Abu Qatada will return to the streets. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has criticised Theresa May's efforts to deport Abu Qatada, saying her strategy has "completely failed".

She said: “A year ago Theresa May promised Abu Qatada would soon be on a plane. Now it is clear her legal strategy has completely failed...

“Theresa May failed to appeal against the European Court decision last year. It is no good the Home Secretary blaming the Court when she didn't appeal when she had the chance."

Read: What next for the government over Abu Qatada?

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