Abu Qatada planning to sue UK government for £10 million, demanding compensation for 'extended mistreatment'


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The Independent Online

Abu Qatada is planning to sue the British government for £10 million, his brother has said.

The extremist cleric has reportedly told his family he wants to launch a multi-million pound compensation case for ‘extended mistreatment’ after a judge blocked his deportation to face terror charges in Jordan.

He was subsequently released from prison on a strict curfew.

Qatada, who was once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, won a similar compensation case three years ago when the European Court of Human Rights ruled he had been unfairly detained in Belmarsh high security prison without trial in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

His payout then was significantly smaller than he is aiming for this time, with him and ten other terror suspects receiving £2,500.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Qatada’s brother Ibrahim Othman said:  “He said he hopes to get £10million for being wrongly put in jail…He says he will make the claim when the court processes are finished for his extended mistreatment.”

Mr Othman added: “He has done nothing against the British people but the British authorities put him jail for many years…He has not had any trial in Britain. It is only right that he should have the money.”

He went on to say: “He hasn’t been able to work for a long time because he has been in jail, so how could he survive without compensation when it is all over?”

In his successful 2009 compensation case, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that his detention violated three provisions of the Human Rights Convention.

But the judges stressed that the compensation was ‘substantially lower’ than in previous cases because the detention was devised ‘in the face of a public emergency’ that threatened ‘the life of the nation’.

This time around Qatada is confident of a far higher payout after the special immigration court ruled that there was a genuine risk that evidence obtained through torture might be used against him if he was sent to Jordan to face trial.

Qatada has spent the last seven years in prison but after last week’s judicial ruling he returned to his family home under strict bail conditions.

Under the terms of his bail, Qatada is allowed out between 8am and 4pm but will be subject to monitoring by the police and Mi5. He cannot preach or give lectures, lead prayers or provide religious instruction to anyone other than his wife and children, and only then within the confines of their home.

The terror suspect was met by angry protests on his arrival at home; with neighbours’ additionally incensed by reports that Qatada had demanded a new council house, saying his current 5-bedroom home wasn’t big enough.

It is thought Qatada and his wife and five children live on state benefits totalling £1,000 a month, with efforts to deport him and surveillance costing the taxpayer an additional £3 million.

Mr Othman said that if Qatada was successful in his £10 million compensation case, he planned to spend the money on a new home in Jordan, providing he was allowed to return their without facing trial. He also plans to invest money in an Islamic charity to help Jordan’s poor.