Strasbourg to consider Abu Qatada case

 

Abu Qatada’s last-minute attempt to appeal against deportation will be considered today by the European Court of Human Rights.

A panel of five judges from the Strasbourg-based court will examine whether the radical cleric lodged his appeal in time.

Conflicting interpretations of when the three-month deadline ended for him to appeal against his return to Jordan provoked a fierce political row last month.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, ordered his arrest early on April 17, hours after the Home Office considered the period had run out. Later that day, however, Qatada's legal team submitted an appeal, arguing it was within the court deadline.

The judges will consider whether to refer the appeal to the ECHR’s grand chamber. It was not clear last night when they would announce a decision. They also have the authority to allow the appeal even if they rule that it was, technically, lodged after the deadline.

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