Abu Qatada at his north London home.
* Once upon a time, in fact right after 7/7, Tony BLiar announced that he would deport 500 Islamic clerics who preach hatred and incite terror attacks against infidels. Little has come of it, in fact NOTHING has come of it and there are now more Islamic hate preachers in the UK than ever:
The appeal court today blocked the deportation of Abu Qatada, accused of being al-Qaida’s “spiritual ambassador to Europe”, despite a “no torture” guarantee given to the British government by Jordan.
Judges also blocked the return of two Libyan terror suspects because the men would be at risk of torture and a “complete” denial of a fair trial if they were sent back from Britain.
Human Rights Watch described the two judgments as “a serious blow” to the government’s plan to deport alleged national security risks on the basis of assurances of humane treatment and fair trial on return.
The Home Office immediately announced it was dropping deportation cases against a further 10 Libyan terrorist suspects and placing them under control orders.
The rulings leave a major question mark over the strategy, initiated by Tony Blair, of deporting suspected international terrorists based on a series of “memoranda of understanding” with north African and Middle Eastern governments over their human rights treatment.
he home office minister, Tony McNulty, said the government would appeal, adding that Qatada would remain in prison in the interim.
The judges had, McNulty said, dismissed all but one of Qatada’s reasons for appeal, relating to the issue of evidence obtained by torture in Jordan.
“We are seeking to overturn that point, and I believe that we will be able to secure his deportation to Jordan and we will push for it as soon as possible,” he said.
“In the meantime, he remains behind bars.”
McNulty said the government was disappointed at the ruling related to the two Libyan suspects and would “continue to push for deportations for people who pose a risk to national security”.
This morning’s court of appeal judgment in the case of Qatada, also known as Omar Othman, found little credibility in the Jordanian government’s promise that he would face a fair trial on his return.
The judges ruled that Jordan’s general intelligence department, the GID, was responsible for extracting confessions by torturing suspects in custody and it was likely that evidence obtained by torture would be used in Qatada’s trial.
Julia Hall of Human Rights Watch said: “These cases show that the British government should stop trying to deport people to countries whose justice systems are deeply tainted by torture and other abuses.”
The strategy of deporting terror suspects on the basis of no torture guarantees was announced by Tony Blair in the immediate aftermath of the July 7 London bombings. After months of negotiations, agreements were concluded with several countries, including Jordan and Libya, but today’s ruling puts the whole strategy in doubt.
Abu Qatada, with the mark of the headbanger: the radical cleric whose deportation to Jordan was blocked by the Appeal Court todayÂ
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