May given go-ahead for Qatada appeal

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Home Secretary Theresa May has been granted permission to appeal against the decision to allow radical preacher Abu Qatada to stay in the UK.

She has been given the go-ahead by the Court of Appeal though a date for a hearing in London has not yet been set.

Last month the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled Qatada should not be deported to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charges in his absence in 1999, because there was a risk 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.

Mrs May immediately pledged to appeal and told the Commons that Jordan had given assurances about its legal processes.

Qatada was immediately granted bail following the ruling and released from HMP Long Lartin, returning to his family home in north London.

The extremist has battled deportation for over a decade and has so far thwarted every attempt by the Government to deport him.

Papers were lodged with the Court of Appeal seeking permission to appeal against the SIAC decision and permission has been granted on the papers by a single judge – the full appeal will be heard by three Court of Appeal judges.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “As we have said, the Government strongly disagrees with SIAC’s ruling, and we remain committed to deporting this dangerous man.”