Abu Qatada's deportation could still be some months away

On ITV News a few weeks ago, amid the political storm, I suggested that the European Court of Human Rights would probably reject Abu Qatada's application for an appeal and would do it quickly.

All day Home Office officials have been biting their fingernails. You can never tell what the judges at the court in Strasbourg will decide.

And this will not be his last bid to stop the deportation.

Abu Qatada's case must now go through a further British legal process.

Radical cleric Abu Qatada outside his home in west London Credit: London Media

Slowly the prospect of Abu Qatada being sent to Jordan for trial is getting closer, but it could still be some months away if he exhausts every last legal avenue open to him.

This will frustrate a lot of people. Away from the political point scoring many simply want to know whether Abu Qatada can be deported safely, without his trial in Jordan involving torture and if he can, they want to know why it's taking so long.

But the wheels of justice turn slowly. The legal process takes time in order to protect us all from it being abused.

Clearly the court processes could be improved to make things more efficient (the Home Secretary has been advocating this).

But Human Rights law is there to protect all of us, even if it can be annoying.

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