An appeals court has rejected the United Kingdom’s latest attempt to deport radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan to stand trial for participating in terror plots in 1999 and 2000, the Associated Press reported. The UK has been trying to deport him since 2001.
UK Home Secretary Theresa May had asked the appeals court to overturn a ruling issued by the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (SIAC) in Nov. 2012 that decided Qatada should not be deported to Jordan because evidence obtained by torture will likely be used in his trial, the Guardian reported.
Qatada, real name Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, has already been convicted in absentia, the AP reported.
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However, the appeals court agreed with SIAC’s judgment.
“Torture is universally abhorred as an evil," the three appeals court judges said in their ruling, according to the Guardian. "A state cannot expel a person to another state where there is a real risk he will be tried on the basis of evidence which there is a real possibility may have been obtained by torture.”
May had secured assurances from the government of Jordan that Qatada would receive a fair trial, but those promises were evidently not enough to sway the courts, the Guardian reported.
"This is not the end of the road, and the government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada," Britain's Home Office said in a statement, according to the AP. "We will consider this judgment carefully and plan to seek leave to appeal.”
According to the AP:
Britain said it would try to work with Jordan's government to try to address the concerns — to seek some sort of guarantee that evidence obtained by torture not be used.