May gives green light for Qatada boot

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By SI­MON DEAN si­mon@sun­

TER­ROR sus­pect Abu Qatada will be de­ported to Jor­dan as soon as pos­si­ble, Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The Gov­ern­ment said it has now re­ceived the as­sur­ances it needed to en­sure his de­por­ta­tion was law­ful.

Mrs May said the rad­i­cal cleric ‘de­serves to face jus­tice’ in Jor­dan, but warned that suc­ces­sive gov­ern­ments have been try­ing to de­port him for ten years and it may still take some time be­fore he can be put on a plane. But Mrs May said: “We now have the ma­te­rial we need to sat­isfy the courts and con­tinue with de­por­ta­tion.”

The rad­i­cal cleric smirked as he was ar­rested at his north west London home yes­ter­day just hours be­fore Mrs May’s emer­gency state­ment in the Com­mons, which sig­nals the end of a long bat­tle for the gov­ern­ment.

Last month, it emerged the cost of keep­ing watch on Qatada on bail comes to about £5mil­lion a year – a hun­dred times more than keep­ing him in a high se­cu­rity jail.

He has been sub­ject to a sur­veil­lance op­er­a­tion cost­ing £100,000 ev­ery week, as au­thor­i­ties mon­i­tored his ev­ery move to en­sure he did not es­cape.

A team of un­der­cover cops ar­rested Qatada at 12.30pm at his £400,000 house, for which his fam­ily were said to be pay­ing £1,900 a month rent, funded through state ben­e­fits.

Five smartly dressed of­fi­cers were in the house for around 15 min­utes be­fore emerg­ing with Qatada, who was not hand­cuffed. Dressed in white train­ers and a full length grey tu­nic, he was taken to a black peo­ple car­rier by the cops – one of whom seemed to be car­ry­ing a bin liner of pos­ses­sions.


Mean­while, Mrs May warned any ap­peal by Qatada could take ‘ many months’, but added it would have to be based on ‘nar­row grounds’ and the Gov­ern­ment has con­fi­dence in its ‘even­tual suc­cess’.

She said: “We can soon put Qatada on a plane and get him out of our coun­try for good.”

In fact, the ear­li­est he could be de­ported is April 30, it is un­der­stood.

Europe’s hu­man rights judges have ruled that Qatada can­not be shipped to Jor­dan with­out as­sur­ances that ev­i­dence gained through tor­ture will not be used in his ter­ror trial.

But the move to de­port him with these as­sur­ances is likely to be chal­lenged in court by Qatada’s le­gal team.

Qatada – once de­scribed by a judge as the late ter­ror leader Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe – was re­leased from Long Lartin high-se­cu­rity jail in Eve­sham, Worcs, in Fe­bru­ary af­ter ap­ply­ing for bail fol­low­ing the con­tro­ver­sial ECHR rul­ing.

The Stras­bourg-based court found that send­ing Qatada, 51, back with­out such as­sur­ances would be a ‘fla­grant de­nial of jus­tice’.

Af­ter ap­pear­ing at the Spe­cial Im­mi­gra­tion Ap­peals Com­mis­sion in cen­tral London Qatada was taken off to prison for de­ten­tion while de­ci­sion­sare made.

AP­PEAL­ING: Qatada was

taken to Im­mi­gra­tion Com­mi­sion

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