News / Europe

British Judges Again Block Cleric Qatada Expulsion

Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada, left, driven from a Special Immigration Appeals Commission hearing in central London, April 17, 2012.
Jordanian preacher Abu Qatada, left, driven from a Special Immigration Appeals Commission hearing in central London, April 17, 2012.
Reuters
British judges on Tuesday dealt a fresh blow to efforts to expel a radical cleric once described as Osama bin Laden's "right-hand man in Europe," prompting the government to vow to take its case to the country's highest court.
 
Britain says Abu Qatada, whose sermons were found in a Hamburg flat used by some of those who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, is a security risk and should be returned to his native Jordan, where he was convicted on terrorism charges in 1999.
 
But in an increasingly embarrassing saga for Home Secretary Theresa May, judges have repeatedly blocked the move, citing fears that evidence obtained through torture may be used against Qatada in an expected retrial in Jordan.
 
Last month, judges rejected an appeal against a November ruling by Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission blocking Qatada's deportation, prompting the government to seek permission to appeal to Britain's highest court.
 
The Court of Appeal, which filters requests to appeal to the Supreme Court, has now rejected the government's request.
 
"We are disappointed with the Court of Appeal's decision but will now request permission to appeal directly from the Supreme Court," the Home Office said in a statement.
 
"The government remains committed to deporting this dangerous man and we continue to work with the Jordanians to address the outstanding legal issues preventing deportation," the statement added.
 
Although the government can request permission to appeal to the Supreme Court directly, success is seen as less likely than if the Court of Appeal had agreed to allow it.
 
The government will have no other legal avenues left if the Supreme Court decides not to hear its case.
 
Qatada, once described by a Spanish judge as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" has been in and out of jail since first being arrested in 2001, and was last month sent back to jail for breaching his bail conditions.
 
His presence in Britain has been an embarrassment for the Conservative-led government, which has pledged to toughen immigration rules and has promised to get rid of him.
 
May's lawyers have described him as a "truly dangerous" individual, a point judges do not dispute. But despite assurances from Jordan, they fear a "flagrant denial of justice" if Qatada were returned there for a retrial.
 
Britain's opposition Labour party said the government had employed a "failed" legal strategy.
 
"A year ago Theresa May promised Abu Qatada would soon be on a plane. Now it is clear her legal strategy has completely failed," Labour interior affairs spokeswoman Yvette Cooper said.
 
"We want to see Abu Qatada deported as a matter of urgency to face fair trial in Jordan," she added. "The Home Secretary and the courts have said he is a very dangerous man."

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid