February 19, 2009

British court rules Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, can be deported

Abu Qatada can be deported but will he? Abu Qatada's lawyers said they will appeal the deportation order at the European Court of Human Rights. Considering the same court just awarded Abu Qatada around $5000 for wrongful detention after 9/11, what do you think Abu Qatada's chances of deportation are now?

From International Herald Tribune

LONDON: A Palestinian-born cleric described by British security officials as "a significant international terrorist" lost the latest round in a seven-year battle to remain in Britain as a refugee Wednesday when the highest court in Britain ruled that he could be deported to Jordan, where he was convicted in absentia in a terrorist bombing and a bomb plot in the late 1990s.

After a five-judge panel of the Law Lords - judges in the House of Lords who sit as the highest court of appeal - unanimously approved his deportation, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith immediately signed an order for the deportation of the 48-year-old Islamic preacher known as Abu Qatada, who is being held in a special unit for Muslim militants at the Longlartin jail about 100 miles, or 160 kilometers, west of London.

The cleric's lawyers said that they would appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, a step likely to halt any move to deport the cleric for weeks, and possibly months.

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