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Abu Qatada: Government will try to block bail

Category: Politics

Published: 20th Apr 2012 12:14:17

The government will resist any application for bail by radical cleric Abu Qatada, Downing Street has said.

"If he applies for bail, we will oppose it vigorously," a spokeswoman said.

Home Secretary Theresa May insisted on Thursday that Abu Qatada's deportation case had "no right" to be referred to the European Court of Human Rights.

Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-Jordanian preacher, is wanted in Jordan on bomb plotting charges but the ECHR is yet to decide whether to hear the case.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said: "The idea that Abu Qatada could be back on the streets of London within weeks, if not days, as a result of the Home Secretary's decision is shocking.

"Theresa May has told us herself how dangerous she believes this man to be, yet now her own shambles could be what gets him out of jail," she added.

Mrs May ignored journalists who sought to ask her questions as she left a conference in central London on Friday morning.

Mr Justice Mitting, the British special immigration appeals commission (Siac) judge, returned Abu Qatada to jail this week after a hearing found deportation was imminent and the chance of him trying to abscond had increased.

But in his written judgment he said if it was "obvious" in two or three weeks that deportation was "not imminent" he would reconsider bail.

The BBC's home affairs correspondent, Dominic Casciani, said: "If Theresa May can't convince the European Court that the cleric's appeal was out of time, then the plan starts to fall to pieces - because the delays start to build up once more as London waits for Strasbourg to pronounce.

"That's why Siac may conclude in a few weeks time that it has no choice but to release the cleric yet again."

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BBC News, 2012. Abu Qatada: Government will try to block bail [Online] (Updated 20th Apr 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1423590/Abu-Qatada-Government-will-try-to-block-bail [Accessed 23rd Apr 2014]

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