May: Abu Qatada could still face UK prosecution

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Hate preacher Abu Qatada could still face prosecution in the UK over alleged possession of extremist material, Home Secretary Theresa May has told MPs.

As the government continues its battle to deport him to Jordan on terror charges, Qatada is being held in Belmarsh prison as police investigate material allegedly found in his taxpayer-funded home. Mrs May told the home affairs select committee that investigation could yet lead to a prosecution, as she revealed her deep frustration with a Court of Appeal decision last month that allowed him to stay in Britain.

The Home Secretary blamed European courts for the difficulties in kicking Qatada out of the UK after they “moved the goalposts”.

Labour MP David Winnick asked her: “Why is not possible for a prosecution to take place in this country against Abu Qatada? Surely there’s quite a lot of evidence of incitement, hatred and related matters.”

She told him: “Obviously, we have the situation at the moment that Abu Qatada is in Belmarsh, he was arrested for breach of his bail conditions and obviously consideration is being given, in looking at the material discovered, to see whether that leads to prosecution.”