Thursday, 18 April 2013

Abu Qatada could face prosecution in the UK, says Home Secretary Theresa May

Abu Qatada could face prosecution in the UK over alleged possession of extremist material, Home Secretary Theresa May told MPs today.

The Conservative Politician spoke of her 'deep' frustration with a Court of Appeal decision last month that allowed him to remain in Britain.

The 56-year-old told the Home Affairs Select Committee she blamed European courts for issues in kicking Qatada out after they 'moved the goalposts'.

The Tory MP said: "Abu Qatada is in Belmarsh, he was arrested for breach of his bail conditions and obviously consideration is being given in looking at the material discovered to see whether that leads to prosecution."

In March, the Court of Appeal backed an earlier ruling that Qatada could not be deported over fears evidence obtained through torture.

Yesterday, the Home Office said it had asked permission to take its fight to remove Qatada to the highest court in the UK - the Supreme Court.

The Government has been trying to deport the radical cleric to Jordan, where he was convicted of terror charge, for nearly eight years.

Earlier, committee chairman Keith Vaz grilled the Home Secretary over the length of time it is taking to deport Qatada.

He said: "Why is he still here 12 months after you've said the words 'shortly put Qatada on a plane'?"

Mrs May said: "It is deeply frustrating that he is still here. We thought we had the assurances we needed from the Jordanian authorities."


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