NOT LONG NOW ( )

Thank hook for that!

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JON LIVESEY jonl@sun­daysport.co.uk

A TREATY geared to­ward eject­ing rad­i­cal cleric Abu Qatada from the coun­try has moved an­other step to full rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

The agree­ment, which aims to al­lay fears that ev­i­dence ex­tracted through tor­ture will be used against the ter­ror sus­pect at a re­trial, has now been pub­lished in the Jor­da­nian govern­ment’s of­fi­cial gazette, leav­ing just a hand­ful of le­gal moves be­fore the de­por­ta­tion process can be­gin.

In May Qatada un­ex­pect­edly vol­un­teered to leave the coun­try as soon as the treaty is rat­i­fied by both coun­tries.

UK govern­ment Se­cu­rity Min­is­ter James Bro­ken­shire said: “The pub­li­ca­tion of the Treaty in the Jor­da­nian Of­fi­cial Gazette is wel­come.

“While fur­ther steps re­main, our fo­cus is on see­ing Abu Qatada on a plane to Jor­dan at the very ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.”

The pub­li­ca­tion of the treaty comes af­ter both houses of the Jor­da­nian par­lia­ment and the coun­try’s king ap­proved the treaty, while the UK par­lia­men­tary scru­tiny process has also com­pleted.

How­ever, Home Sec­re­tary Theresa May pre­vi­ously warned that, even when the treaty is fully rat­i­fied, it will not nec­es­sar­ily mean that Qatada will be on a plane to Jor­dan within days. The case re­mains open to le­gal chal­lenge.

The Govern­ment has been try­ing to de­port Qatada to Jor­dan, where he was con­victed of ter­ror charges in his ab­sence in 1999, for about eight years.

The fight to re­move him from Bri­tain has cost the tax­payer more than £1.7mil­lion since 2005.

Qatada is be­hind bars in Lon­don’s Bel­marsh prison af­ter breach­ing a bail con­di­tion which re­stricts use of mo­bile phones and other de­vices.

The Spe­cial Im­mi­gra­tion Ap­peals Com­mis­sion (Siac) pre­vi­ously heard that a USB stick un­der­stood to be­long to Qatada’s el­dest son con­tained “ji­hadist files’’ made by the “me­dia wing of Al Qaeda’’.

The ter­ror sus­pect is also be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by Scot­land Yard over sus­pected ex­trem­ist ma­te­rial found dur­ing the search of his home.

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