Monday, February 26, 2007

Britain: Radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada has lost his appeal against a Home Office move to deport him to Jordan

BBC News:

The home secretary welcomed the ruling, seen as the first test of a policy that seeks assurances deportees in terror cases will not be abused on return.

The alleged al-Qaeda figure's lawyers said he could face torture at home but the UK said he was a security threat.

Qatada, who has been convicted in Jordan for terror attacks, is to seek leave to appeal the deportation ruling.

Human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce said it was a "profoundly important appeal" that could have ramifications across the world.

Qatada, 45, has spent most of the past five years in prison in the UK under anti-terrorism and immigration laws.

The judgment by Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) chairman Mr Justice Ouseley said members had concluded there was "no real risk of persecution of [Qatada]" on his return.

The case is significant because the government has been trying to secure deportations to countries accused of torture by securing special agreements that deportees will not be abused.

The agreement - called Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) - signed between the UK government and Jordan in 2005, aimed to guarantee that anyone deported to the country would not face torture or ill-treatment.

Radical cleric loses deportation appeal

Government wins landmark terror deportation ruling on Islamist cleric

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