Hate preacher Abu Qatada may never leave Britain after Home Secretary Theresa May lost the latest battle to kick him out. Judges at the Court of Appeal admitted that he is ‘a very dangerous person’ but said his human rights would be breached if he were deported to Jordan to face terror charges.
UK Daily Mail It leaves the government’s plans to remove Qatada in disarray with few options left after a decade-long legal fight. The Home Office desperately insisted: ‘This is not the end of the road.’
Qatada is said to have wide and high-level support among extremists, and featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the September 11 bombers. Last year it emerged Tit was costing £5million to keep watch on him while he was out on bail – a hundred times more than keeping him in a high-security jail.
Mrs May’s legal team argued that Qatada was a ‘truly dangerous’ individual who escaped deportation through ‘errors of law’. The appeal was launched after the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled in November that Qatada should not be deported to Jordan where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999.
The SIAC judges said that evidence from Qatada’s former co-defendants Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher, said to have been obtained by torture, could be used against him in a retrial. ‘The Secretary of State has not satisfied us that, on a retrial, there is no real risk that the impugned statements of Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher would be admitted probatively against the appellant,’ they said.
Today Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Elias, unanimously rejected the appeal, despite Mrs May insisting that Jordan had given assurances about its legal processes.
The judges said the court accepted that Qatada ‘is regarded as a very dangerous person’, but that was not ‘a relevant consideration’ under human rights laws. The ruling means Qatada can no longer be detained under immigration law because there is little prospect of him being deported in the near future.
The Home Office vowed to continue its fight to remove Qatada, but realistically stands little chance unless it can convince the courts that the situation in Jordan has changed.
But the Home Office faced criticism for its handling of the case.
UKIP’s home affairs spokesman Gerard Batten said: ‘The Human Rights Act has become an umbrella protecting foreign terrorists and criminal suspects from facing justice in their own countries, with the British taxpayer having to fund both their protection and the costs of the case being brought against them.