UK & World News
Fresh Doubt Over Deportation Of Qatada
The Home Secretary's promise to keep radical cleric Abu Qatada in prison until he is deported has been thrown into doubt.
Theresa May has insisted the application by the cleric's lawyers to prevent him being sent to Jordan should be thrown out by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because it missed a three-month appeal deadline.
However, Labour has released advice from the research department of the Council of Europe - which is responsible for the court - suggesting it may have just beaten the deadline.
But the confusion over the appeal could lead to Qatada - once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe - being back on British streets in just a fortnight.
Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Mrs May needs to explain how the "fiasco" happened.
"The idea that Abu Qatada could be back on the streets of London within weeks if not days as a result of the Home Secretary's decision is shocking," she said.
"Theresa May has told us herself how dangerous she believes this man to be, yet now her own shambles could be what gets him out of jail. The job of the Home Secretary is to keep the public safe, not take risks with national security."
Mr Justice Mitting, the British special immigration appeals commission judge, returned Qatada to jail this week after a rapidly convened court hearing found deportation was imminent and the chance of Qatada trying to abscond had increased.
But, in his written judgment, he said if it is "obvious" in two or three weeks that deportation is "not imminent" he will reconsider bail.
The revelation came as the Government faced further embarrassment over the case when a note - sent to the House of Commons Library - emerged that appeared to back the Qatada team's appeal timings.
It was signed by Nathalie Chene of Secretariat of the Committee of Ministers Council of Europe.
It stresses the final decision on whether the appeal is admissible now rests with a panel of five judges from the court's Grand Chamber.
"The Othman (Qatada) case was supposed to become final on 17/04/2012 and, according to the information provided by the European Court, the applicant requested a referral to the Grand Chamber on the 17/04," the note said.
"So I would say that it just in time but of course the Court (panel) may decide otherwise."
Earlier, in the Commons, Mrs May was adamant that the appeal deadline had passed 24 hours earlier at midnight on Monday, April 16.
"The Government is clear that Abu Qatada has no right to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, since the three-month deadline to do so lapsed at midnight on Monday," she said.
"The Government has written to the European Court to make clear our case that the application should be rejected because it is out of time."
On Tuesday, Mrs May announced Qatada had been rearrested and deportation proceedings resumed in the absence of any appeal against the court's ruling - issued on January 17 - that he would not face torture if he was deported to stand trial on terrorism charges in his native Jordan.
However, that night, at 11pm local time Qatada's lawyers lodged their appeal with the ECHR.
In the Commons, Mrs May accused the lawyers of using "delaying tactics" to hold up the deportation process.
Ms Cooper said in a statement on Friday: "Was she (Theresa May) advised that the European Court took a different view of the deadline before she stood up in the House on Tuesday?
"If she knew there was doubt, but chose to plough on regardless and take the risk, that would be an extremely serious failure of judgement by the person whose job it is to keep the public safe.
"We all want Abu Qatada to be deported as soon as possible, under the rule of law, and kept off the streets in the meantime. Both those things are less likely now because of the Home Secretary's actions."
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what do you think?
Roy E Millington
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Send him NOW and tell the ECHR to get lost. Sick to death of these people who spout vitriol and hatred towards us taking advantage and abusing our system
Yvette Cooper yet another labor politician without Amy policy jumping on a band wagon. Instead of sound bites and attacks, why don't the main parties get together and deport the evil man
This is doing my head in, i can't believe he qualifies for legal aid, just deport him and face the questions of wrong dates afterwards.
Its a joke haven't we done enough? I mean we've even been to Jordan to make sure this man dosent get his bottom smacked if and when he gets there. And now more legal wrangling which means it's going to be weeks if not several months before he goes,if he goes.Olympics soon he shall be claiming human right to attend the events. IT CAN ONLY HAPPEN HERE
you are right! he probably has tickets.
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we dont need to keep him here if the hague says he cant go to jordan let them have him, Human rights do not effect him when he encourges others to kill and maim our citizens, so he himself does not respect the human rights act. SEND HIM BACK AND LET HIM GET WHAT HE DESERVES it may put others off. If the death sentence still stood he would be gone and save the country millions
P-up and brewery spring to mind here!
send him to jordan and be done it costing to much to keep messing about with the likes of him DEPORT HIM AND finish it. If the hauge says we cant send him there and let them deal with him
One word... JOKE... that's what we are.. the world just sits and laughs at us..
no wonder he's smiling...all the compo for him and the Legal Aid for his legal team LOL
Strange how European law can over-ride international law, especially where it involves terrorism. At the same time it appears that European law does not look at the rights of victims of crime. What a wonderful world we live in. This is an open invitation to all that it is ok to commit crimes in countries who have severe punishments for such crimes as long as they are quick enough to escape and seek refuge in the European Union and claim sanctuary.
The European court seems to be a mechanism mainly concerned with curbing the powers of 'member states' governments. Designed with such a purpose in mind.
It's a pity the English businessman recently extradited to the US wasn't afforded the same protection. It is not for any country in the EU to dictate or influence other country's judicial systems merely because they do not coincide with theirs. If that was the case then there are literally hundreds of incidents throughout the world which would be equal to this case but we have sat back and done nothing with them. Why is this so different?
The rest of the world must be laughing their socks off at this farce. Time to get another minister in post to do the job. What I find so very strange is when you read through the human rights act one of the grounds set out is if a person is deemed to be a security risk to the country he can be deported. Is he not a security risk? OK you have to balance out all the sections but surely a countries security takes priority or does it?
May I respectfully say, The human rights is enshrined into UK Law if you change the human rights act or advocate to get rid of it you then have to repeal most of English law. It is not as easy as you may believe to do this.
His legal team need to be named and shamed with there photos in national press these people are nothing more than mercenaries squeezing yet more money from the British tax payer
Send him to our Jordanian Embassy which is supposedly still Britain. From there he can sleep walk out of the place, with a little help!!
..he needs to go on a diet....... need I say more ??
labour only see this prat Othman as a means of attacking the government, they are quite happy with that. A though they handled him (and his backers) any better. The court have a choice now, they can rule 'time out' easily, or, as they probably wish to, make life for our government as difficult as possible, bend over backwards to accomadate the wishes of AQ's representitive. There will obviously never be a bombing in Strasbourg. Can anybody do anything to stop this 'Othman' always smiling?
This non-story takes the heat off of our dear gobsmiths, throw a hate figure to the sheeple why don't you, while the people who really ruin your lives continue to wreck our country. It isn't a nutty cleric that sold off our national assets to foreigners, or allowed the bankers to lend money they never had, crashing our economy, it is the politicians.