European court turns down Abu Qatada request

UK-based Muslim preacher could be extradited to Jordan after he loses legal bid in the European Court of Human Rights.

European court turns down Abu Qatada request

World Bulletin/News Desk

Abu Qatada, a Muslim religious leader, has lost a legal bid in the European Court of Human Rights to challenge Britain's long-running attempts to deport him to Jordan to stand trial on terrorism charges. Abu Qatada had asked the European Court of Human Rights to refer his case to a panel of its most senior judges.

The court said it turned down his request, paving the way for Britain to send him back to Jordan after a decade of legal wrangling over his fate. It gave no reasons for its refusal.

Qatada's lawyers had argued that he risked being tortured in Jordan or being convicted using evidence extracted from others using torture. Britain reached an agreement with Jordan in 2005 to try to ensure Qatada is not mistreated if he is returned to Jordan.

"I am pleased by the European court's decision," said British Home Secretary (interior minister) Theresa May. "The Qatada case will now go through the British courts.

"I am confident the assurances we have from Jordan mean we can put Qatada on a plane and get him out of Britain."

However, in an embarrassment for the British government, the judges confirmed that Qatada had lodged his appeal request in time, contradicting May's original claims that he had been too late.

The British government plans to deport the Muslim religious leader before London hosts the Olympic Games in July and August.

Qatada, whose real name is Omar Othman, has been in and out of jail since he was first detained without charge under British anti-terrorism laws in 2002.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Mayıs 2012, 11:00

Muhammed Öylek