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Downing St: Abu Qatada cannot come back to the UK

Downing St has made clear that Abu Qatada will not be able to return to the UK, regardless of whether he has been cleared of a charge of conspiring to commit terrorism in a Jordanian court.

The radical cleric is still in custody in his home country awaiting trial on a separate charge.

Abu Qatada at the State Security Court in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Credit: Reuters

Asked if Qatada could return to Britain, the Prime Minister's spokesman said: "He can't come back, and he won't come back.He is a Jordanian and he does not have a UK passport.

"He would not be granted permission to enter the UK, end of story," he added.

Nick Clegg: 'We don't want Qatada back in the UK'

Nick Clegg has said the Government does "not want" Abu Qatada back in the UK, even if a Jordanian court has found him not guilty of a charge of conspiring to commit terrorism.

The cleric, who was extradited from the UK last July, is still facing a further charge in Jordan and remains in custody there.

Nick Clegg said Qatada 'needed to face justice' in the UK. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Lib Dem leader told his weekly phone-in on LBC radio; “It was important that we sent Abu Qatada back to Jordan after lengthy delays.

"What is clear to me is that he needed to face justice and he needed to face justice outside of this country, and that’s what this government achieved,"

"We need to have to have a close look at this ruling. But we don’t want this man back," he added.


Qatada found not guilty on terror charges in Jordan

Cleric Abu Qatada. Credit: Reuters

Abu Qatada has been cleared of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism in a court in Jordan.

The cleric - who was finally extradited from Britain last July after a long legal process - will continue to be held as he awaits trial relating to an alleged plot to attack tourists during Jordan's New Year celebrations in 2000.

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

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


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.

Home Office confirm departure of Abu Qatada's family

Radical cleric Abu Qatada will be joined by his family in Jordan. Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

Abu Qatada's family have left Britain to join the recently deported radical cleric in Jordan, the Home Office has confirmed.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Abu Qatada's wife and five children have now left the UK. The family has formally agreed to drop an outstanding application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.”

Qatada left Britain in July after a decade-long legal battle to deport the 53-year-old.

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