Terror suspect overdoses after release

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The Independent Online

A foreign terror suspect who was placed under a control order after his release from three years' detention has been admitted to hospital after taking a drug overdose.

A foreign terror suspect who was placed under a control order after his release from three years' detention has been admitted to hospital after taking a drug overdose.

Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh, 33, a Palestinian born in a refugee camp in Jordan, was taken to a London hospital on Saturday and only discharged three days later, the High Court was told yesterday.

Mr Rideh was freed from Broadmoor high-security hospital earlier this month. He had been held since December 2001 under now-expired anti-terror laws.

Lawyers for 10 terror suspects, including Mr Rideh, are preparing to challenge the control orders authorised by the Home Secretary, Charles Clarke.

The orders impose conditions including electronic tagging, night-time curfews, a ban on internet and mobile phone use, and curbs on movement and meetings with people.

The court was told that the restrictions caused problems when any of the men fell ill out of normal office hours because of difficulties communicating with the Home Office officials.

Mr Justice Ouseley said it had led to the need for "crisis management".

The most dramatic incident was described by Daniel Freedman, appearing for nine of the terror suspects.

He said Mr Rideh was admitted to a London hospital on the night of 14 March but then allowed to go home. "But during the night on 19 March he took an overdose of pills and was admitted to hospital again.

He also had an infection from the tag on his ankle and it had to be taken off, out of hours.

Difficulties over the contact phone number for the Home Office had created all sorts of problems because of the obligations of those subject to control orders, said Mr Freedman.

Another suspect, "B", who was severely disabled, had been taken to hospital with psychiatric problems after collapsing at his flat during the first night of his release. He was still in hospital. A third suspect had also suffered severe psychiatric difficulties, said Mr Freedman.

The Home Office said "teething problems" were inevitable with the control orders but they were being gradually solved.