Clegg pledges to deport Qatada

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said yesterday the government remains determined to deport radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada, despite the latest legal setback.

Mr Clegg said ministers would continue to seek strengthened assurances from Qatada’s native Jordan that the authorities would not use evidence obtained by torture against him. However, he cautioned that the government could not defy the courts and simply “put him on a plane” to stand trial on terrorism charges.

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The Court of Appeal on Wednesday upheld Qatada’s latest appeal against deportation on the grounds there was a “real risk” that evidence extracted through torture would be used if he was sent back.

Mr Clegg said: “The government is not above the law, however frustrating these court proceedings are.”