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Britain Deports Radical Cleric to Jordan

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A jet carrying radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada left Britain for Jordan early Sunday, ending a nearly decade-long battle to deport him.

British Home Secretary Theresa May confirmed that the 53-year-old Abu Qatada, once dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, had left the country.

Abu Qatada is wanted in Jordan to face retrial in several terrorism cases in which he was sentenced in absentia.

Successive British governments have tried since 2001 to deport Abu Qatada, but courts have blocked extradition over concerns that evidence obtained under torture could be used against him.

Last month, Jordan and Britain signed a treaty aimed at ensuring that does not happen.

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