Abu Qatada - a timeline


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The Independent Online


September 1993

The Jordanian father-of-five, real name Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, claims asylum when he arrives in Britain on a forged passport. The following year he is allowed to stay.

April 1999

He is convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment.

February 2001

He is arrested by anti-terror police over involvement in a plot to bomb Strasbourg Christmas market.

December 2001

Qatada becomes one of Britain's most wanted men after going on the run from his home in Acton, West London. He is arrested ten months later.

April 2008

The Court of Appeal rules that deporting Qatada would breach his human rights because evidence used against him in Jordan may have been obtained through torture. Later that year he is briefly released on bail from Long Lartin jail but rearrested over fears he will abscond.

February 2009

Qatada is awarded £2,500 compensation by the European Court of Human Rights after the judges rule that his detention without trial in the UK under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.

January 2012

European judges rule that the cleric can be sent back to Jordan with diplomatic assurances but he cannot be deported while “there remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him”. The following month he is released on strict bail terms.

April 2012

The cleric is arrested as the Government prepares to deport him to Jordan, with Siac president Mr Justice Mitting saying Home Secretary Theresa May has secured assurances from Jordan that it will “bend over backwards” to ensure Qatada receives a fair trial.

May 2012

Qatada loses his attempt to have his appeal over deportation heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, clearing the way for deportation continue after an embarrassing row over timing with Mrs May insisting wrongly that the appeal request was not within deadline.

October 2012

Qatada's lawyers appeal before Siac in a test of assurances offered by Jordan