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Abu Qatada's trial in Jordan adjourned

The trial of Abu Qatada was adjourned until Christmas Eve, following his objection to the presence of a military judge in the three-judge tribunal.

Abu Qatada's family arrives to court in Jordan. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

The radical cleric said the make-up of the judicial panel violates an agreement with Britain which paved way for his extradition and was meant to guarantee him a fair trial in his homeland.

He is charged with plotting terror attacks against Israelis, Americans and other Westerners in Jordan in two foiled attempts in 1999 and 2000.

Abu Qatada appeared in court today. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

In both cases, Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia and sentenced to life in prison.

But on his return from the UK in July, those sentences were suspended and he has to be re-tried under Jordanian law.

Abu Qatada's family arrives to court in Jordan. Credit: REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Read: Abu Qatada demands civilian trial in Jordan

Abu Qatada demands civilian trial in Jordan

Abu Qatada, the radical cleric on trial in Jordan, has challenged the Jordanian authorities over the make-up of the judicial panel.

According to media reports, he protested against a military judge on the panel.

Mr Qatada said this was against the assurances given to him at the time he was fighting his deportation from the UK.

He said Jordanian authorities said the court would be independent and civilian.

His lawyer quoted a formal letter from the authorities to foreign secretary William Hague, which was part of the new treaty between Jordan and the UK.

The trial was adjourned in consideration of these claims until Christmas Eve.

Read: Abu Qatada leaves Britain after a near decade-long battle

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Trial of Abu Qatada expected to begin in Jordan

The trial of radical cleric Abu Qatada is expected to begin today in Jordan. Qatada is to face terrorism charges following his deportation from the UK in July.

Abu Qatada was deported from the UK in July following a lengthy legal battle. Credit: Press Association

He is accused of involvement in a series of bombings in 1998 and a terrorist plot that was foiled in 2000.

Following a near decade-long battle against deportation, it was a treaty signed between the UK and Jordan earlier this year that finally secured Qatada's departure, giving the radical preacher the assurances he needed to leave his taxpayer-funded home behind.

The agreement, announced by the Home Secretary earlier this year, aimed to allay fears that evidence extracted through torture would not be used against the father-of-five at his trial.

Kerry: Israel 'one stiff breeze away' from gas attack

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US Secretary of State John Kerry.
US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: RTV

Kerry said Israel and Jordan are "one stiff breeze away" from a chemical strike.

"If we fail to act, our interests would be seriously set back," he added.

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Google images show scale of huge refugee camp in Jordan

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Satellite image showing Zaatari, Jordan's first official Syrian refugee camp. Credit: Google Maps

The site has become the fourth largest city in Jordan and the world's second largest refugee camp behind Dadaab in eastern Kenya.

One of the overflow camps south east of Zaatari. Credit: Google Maps

UNICEF in Jordan has appealed for aid of more than $115 million by the end of 2013 so it can continue to meet the needs of the growing number of refugees.

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Abu Qatada's family visit him in detention

Abu Qatada's family have visited him in detention in Jordan. It is the first time his mother, sister and brothers have seen him in over a decade. According to Qatada's lawyer he is being held in a cell with 15 other people. His legal team has requested that Qatada is released on bail.

Family of Abu Qatada travel to meet him in Jordan
Family of Abu Qatada travel to meet him in Jordan Credit: ITV News
It is the first time in over a decade his family based in Jordan have seen him
It is the first time in over a decade his family based in Jordan have seen him Credit: ITV News

Read: Abu Qatada is deported from Britain to stand trial in Jordan.

May: Action over 'crazy' reading of human rights laws

Terror suspect Abu Qatada was deported to Jordan yesterday. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Home Secretary says action must be taken to address the "crazy interpretation of our human rights laws" - as seen with terror suspect Abu Qatada - to prevent lengthy and expensive deportation battles from happening again.

Theresa May told MPs: "I have made clear my view that in the end the Human Rights Act must be scrapped."

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