Abu Qatada to hear verdict after eight year deportation battle


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The Independent Online

The radical cleric Abu Qatada will find out tomorrow if he is to be deported to Jordan to face terror charges.

Home Secretary Theresa May is hoping the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) – the specialist body that deals with high level deportations – will agree with the government’s arguments that evidence gained by torture will not be used against him.

If Siac agrees he can go it will bring to an end an eight year battle to deport the cleric, who has not been found guilty of any crime in Britain. He has been found guilty in absentia in Jordan of two terror plots.

His lawyers have argued that he will be tortured if he is sent to Jordan, and that the evidence against him comes from individuals who have been tortured.

The Home Office has already persuaded the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg that a memorandum of understanding from Jordan now guarantees his correct treatment. But in January the Strasbourg court said it believed original torture-gained evidence would be used in any new trial.

Mrs May is now hoping that Siac will agree that Strasbourg’s conditions for deportation have been met, following fresh assurances from the Jordanians.

Last month the Home Secretary successfully managed to deport another radical preacher, Abu Hamza, to the US to face terror charges after a protracted legal battle.