Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada will be released on bail later today after winning his appeal case yesterday.
Although he will no longer be in custody, Abu Qatada will not be free, his conditions are expected to include; being subject to a 16-hour curfew and allowed out only between 8am and 4pm, with conditions including wearing an electronic tag, not using the internet, and not contacting certain people.
The Home Secretary made a statement to the House of Commons strongly condemning the ruling of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) to release terror suspect Abu Qatada on bail.
Theresa May said the Government "strongly disagrees" with the decision and will appeal:
"I hardly need to tell the house that the government strongly disagrees with this ruling. Qatata a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crimes in his home country of Jordan. "
– Home Secretary Theresa May in the House of Commons
I hardly need to tell the house that the government strongly disagrees with this ruling. Qatada is a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crimes in his home country of Jordan.
The British government has obtained from the Jordanian government assurances not just in relation to Qatada himself but about the quality of the legal processes that would be followed throughout his trail.
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.
– Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary
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.
Terror suspect Abu Qatada has been granted bail after winning his appeal against deportation to Jordan at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission. He will be released tomorrow.
A judge for the Special Immigration Appeals Commission refused an application by the Home Office for permission to appeal today's ruling. However, lawyers can apply for permission at the Court of Appeal.
– Edward Fitzgerald QC, Abu Qatada's lawyer
There is no reasonable prospect of lawful removal within any reasonable time. It's just too long. We respectfully submit that there is no justification for continuing to deprive Mr Othman [Abu Qatada] of his liberty. Enough is enough, it has gone on for many many years now. There is no prospect of deportation taking place within a reasonable time, in fact there is no prospect at present of deportation at all.
– Robin Tam QC, Home Office lawyer
You have ruled that there is a real risk of the admission of evidence, where there is a real risk that this evidence was obtained by torture. That is a possibility of a possibility which falls below the legal test. You have made a legal error in setting the threshold too low. We should have the possibility to ask the Court of Appeal to consider that.
Judges said Abu Qatada's right to a fair trial could be breached because evidence obtained via torture could be used during his re-trial in Jordan. However, they rejected the following two claims:
- Qatada claimed that there was a risk that he himself would be tortured or badly treated in Jordan
- His lawyers claimed that even if he was acquitted at re-trial, he could be kept in prison under Jordanian law if the authorities decided he was "a danger to the people"