Judges to rule on appeal to extradite Abu Qatada

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HOME Secretary Theresa May’s appeal against the decision to allow radical preacher Abu Qatada to stay in the UK is due to be heard today.

Three court of appeal judges led by Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, will hear the challenge.

The special immigration appeals commission (Siac) decided last November that Qatada could not lawfully be deported to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999.

Siac judges ruled there was a danger that evidence from Qatada’s former co-defendants Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher, said to have been obtained by torture, could be used against him in a retrial in Jordan.

They said: “The secretary of state has not satisfied us that, on a retrial, there is no real risk that the impugned statements of Abu Hawsher and Al-Hamasher would be admitted probatively against the appellant.”

Mrs May then immediately pledged to appeal and told the Commons that Jordan had given assurances about its legal 
processes. She described Qatada as “a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crime in his home country of Jordan”.

The hearing comes days after Qatada was arrested for allegedly breaching bail. Mr Justice Irwin ordered he should remain in custody after hearing evidence that mobile telephones or communications equipment had been switched on in his house.