Britain loses bid to deport radical Muslim cleric

Abu Qatada wanted in native Jordan after terrorism conviction in 1999

The British government lost its long-running legal battle to deport radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The British government lost its long-running legal battle to deport radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Wed, Mar 27, 2013, 12:06

The British government has lost its long-running legal battle to deport radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who is wanted in his native Jordan after having been convicted of terrorism charges in 1999.

Successive British governments have tried for years to get rid of the cleric, who has been in and out of jail since first being arrested in 2001, but concerns that he might not receive a fair re-trial in Jordan have foiled deportation efforts.

Abu Qatada won a last minute appeal against deportation last November and earlier this month was arrested and jailed again for breaching bail conditions prohibiting the use of mobile phones and other communications equipment in his house.

British home secretary Theresa May's legal team have argued in court that he is a "truly dangerous" individual who has escaped expulsion only through errors of law.

But at the Court of Appeal today, three judges unanimously rejected the government's appeal against November's decision allowing him to stay.

Reuters