World News

Jordan Charges Deported Muslim Cleric with Terrorism

Jordanian military prosecutors have charged radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada with conspiracy to carry out terror attacks, just hours after his deportation from Britain.

The French news agency quoted Abu Qatada's lawyer as saying the Muslim preacher pleaded not guilty and that an appeal to release him on bail would be submitted to the court in Amman on Monday.

Abu Qatada's deportation early Sunday ended a nearly decade-long legal battle to have him returned to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

The move came after Britain and Jordan ratified a treaty on torture aimed at easing the human rights concerns that blocked previous attempts to deport the Palestinian-born Jordanian preacher.

The 53-year-old Abu Qatada, once dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, is expected to face retrial in several Jordanian terrorism cases in which he was sentenced in absentia.

British governments have tried since 2001 to deport him, but courts in that country and Europe blocked his extradition due to concerns that Jordan might use evidence obtained under torture against him.

The treaty ratified last month eased those concerns.

British officials welcomed Abu Qatada's departure. Home Secretary Theresa May pledged to work to eliminate the many layers of appeals processes available in such cases, so that this kind of drawn-out legal battle cannot be repeated.

Feature Story

An aerial view shows a thinned crowd of pro-democracy student protesters continuing to occupy the streets around the government complex in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Chinese President's Risky Options for Dealing with Hong Kong Protests

So far, Beijing has refused to back down on its August 31 ruling that Hong Kong can hold its first direct election for its leader only if all candidates are strictly vetted by a nominating committee More

Special Reports