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Abu Qatada released on bail

posted 13 Nov 2012, 07:21 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 13 Nov 2012, 07:21 ]

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada released from UK prison on bail after winning appeal against deportation from Britain.

 WORCESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND, UNTIED KINGDOM (NOVEMBER 13, 2012) (ITN) - Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada was released on bail from a UK prison on Tuesday (November 13) after winning an appeal against deportation from Britain to face terrorism charges inJordan.

The ruling on Monday (November 12) for Qatada to be released under bail conditions, including a 16-hour curfew at his London home, was a blow to the Conservative-led Government that says he is a huge security risk.

The special court that deals with security cases that handed down the decision said British interior minister Theresa May had been wrong not to revoke an earlier deportation ruling against Qatada, and allowed his appeal.

A Jordanian of Palestinian origin, described by a Spanish judge as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe", he has been a thorn in the side of successive British governments.

Qatada has been in and out of jail in Britain for seven years without charge since his arrest in 2002.

The government had argued that a 2005 deal with Jordan and more recent diplomatic assurances would ensure that Qatada would obtain a fair trial there.

Qatada said his trial might be skewed by evidence obtained using torture, a claim upheld in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Britain says videos of his sermons influenced Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Jordan has convicted him in his absence of encouraging militants there who were planned bomb attacks in 1999 and 2000.

Britain's failure to deport Qatada contrasts with its success last month in extraditing to the U.S. another radical cleric, Abu Hamza, who fought deportation for eight years.