Abu Qatada deported from Britain to face trial in Jordan

Battle to deport him has cost more than £1.7 million

A handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence of Abu Qatada  at RAF Northolt in West London boarding a private flight bound for Jordan. Photograph: PA

A handout photo issued by the Ministry of Defence of Abu Qatada at RAF Northolt in West London boarding a private flight bound for Jordan. Photograph: PA

 

Radical cleric Abu Qatada has been deported from Britain to Jordan to stand trial on terrorism charge.

In a statement on the British government website Home Secretary Theresa May said: “This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country”.

“I am glad that this government’s determination to see him on a plane has been vindicated and that we have at last achieved what previous governments, parliament and the British public have long called for.

“I am also clear that we need to make sense of our human rights laws and remove the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we want to deport.

The British government had failed in repeated attempts since 2001 to deport

Mr Qatada because of court rulings that evidence linked to torture might be used against him in Jordan.

Mr Qatada, whose real name is Mohammed Othman and who was 52 when he was re-arrested in March, has been in and out of UK jails for more than a decade.

The cleric, described by a judge in Spain as former al- Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, said in May he would return voluntarily if Jordan ratified a treaty promising him a fair trial.

That took effect July 2nd. In May, Qatada was denied bail by a London judge who called him a threat to national security.

PA/Reuters/AP