UK & World News

  • 23 April 2013, 21:25

Qatada: New Court Blow For Theresa May

Court of Appeal judges have rejected the Government's attempt to take the fight to deport Abu Qatada to the Supreme Court.

The ruling is the latest blow to Home Secretary Theresa May, who is battling to send the radical cleric back to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

Now the only avenue left is for the Home Office to appeal directly to the Supreme Court - which it immediately vowed to do.

A spokesman said: "We are disappointed with the Court of Appeal's decision, but will now request permission to appeal directly from the Supreme Court.

"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 normal process is to submit a permission to appeal application which would then be considered by three Supreme Court justices.

They would decide whether or not the application raised a point of law of general public importance.

The Government had been trying to launch an appeal after the Court of Appeal last month rejected the latest in a long line of attempts to deport the terror suspect.

In March, judges backed an earlier ruling by immigration judges that he could not be deported due to fears that evidence obtained through torture would be used against him.

Qatada, who featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the 9/11 bombers, has for eight years thwarted every attempt by the Government to put him on a plane.

A resident in the UK since September 1993, he was returned to jail last month after he was arrested for alleged bail breaches.

A hearing over whether he should be granted bail again was due to be held last month, but was delayed.

Police searched Qatada's family home in London before he was held, and have since said that he is being investigated over extremist material.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Mrs May's strategy had "completely failed" and warned it could lead to Qatada being released.

"The Home Secretary must tell us urgently what she is going to do now to get Abu Qatada deported or tried, and keep him off our streets," she said.

"What is Theresa May going to do now? Is she going back to Jordan? Is she going to seek to prosecute Abu Qatada here instead? We need to know."

The Home Secretary said she would make an emergency statement on Qatada to the House of Commons on Wednesday.