British Home Secretary Theresa May has lodged the Government’s legal challenge in the Court of Appeal against last month’s court ruling to allow Abu Qatada to stay in the UK.
Ruling against the Home Office, judges at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) decided that Qatada should not be deported to Jordan to face terror offences of which he was convicted in his absence in 1999.
The panel of three senior judges ruled that the radical cleric would face a risk of evidence deemed to have been obtained through torture being used against him.
The decision can only be overturned if a solution can be found for the legal problems on which the ruling was based.
Mrs May said last month that Qatada, now in his north London home following his release on bail from Long Lartin prison, must be deported.
‘Qatada is a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crime in his home country of Jordan,’ she said.
‘The British government has obtained from the Jordanian government assurances not just in relation to the treatment of Qatada himself, but about the quality of the legal processes that would be followed throughout his trial. We will therefore seek leave to appeal.’
The Court of Appeal confirmed papers had been lodged by Home Office lawyers, but that no date has been fixed for any hearing.
Qatada, once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, has for 10 years frustrated every attempt to deport him by two Governments.
SIAC is a superior court set up in 1997 which deals with appeals against decisions made by the Home Office to deport, or exclude, someone from the UK on national security grounds, or for other public interest reasons. SIAC also hears appeals against decisions to deprive persons of British citizenship.
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