November 12, 2012
DEPORT ONE GET ONE FREE
Abu Qatada is to be freed after winning his latest appeal against extradition, in a major blow to Home Secretary Theresa May. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) decided the radical cleric would not get a fair trial in Jordan because evidence obtained via torture could be used against him. This is despite the Home Secretary securing assurances from the country that this would not happen. Qatada will be released on bail after Home Office lawyers failed to persuade Siac judges he should remain behind bars. They insisted that the Palestinian-born Jordanian cleric, real name Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, poses "an enormous risk to national security". But Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Qatada, declared: "Enough is enough. It has gone on for many years now. There is no prospect of deportation taking place within a reasonable time, in fact there is no prospect at present of deportation at all."