11 May 2013

Abu Qatada to return to Jordan

9:20 am on 11 May 2013

The lawyer for radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada says he will return to Jordan voluntarily when parliament there ratifies a treaty with Britain that ensures he will receive a fair trial in Jordan.

The treaty deals with the use of evidence obtained by torture.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission was told of the decision on Friday by Edward Fitzgerald QC during a bail hearing in London.

Abu Qatada faces terrorism charges in Jordan after being convicted in his absence in 1999 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The BBC reports his lawyers claim he would not get a fair trial because the evidence against him comes from people who were tortured into implicating him.

The British government has been trying to deport him for almost eight years.

Abu Qatada is currently in prison after being arrested in March for breaches of his bail conditions. His house was searched on 7 March.

Police found 17 mobiles: six of which were switched on. They also found three USB sticks, an SD card, five digital media devices and 55 recordable CDs or DVDs.

The hearing has been adjourned until 20 May, meaning Abu Qatada will remain in a high security prison until then.