Last updated: 12 November, 2012

Jordan disappointed at Abu Qatada’s appeal win

The Jordan government expressed disappointment on Monday after British judges upheld radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada’s appeal against extradition to the Middle East country.

“The Jordanian government expresses its disappointment at the decision of the British court against Omar Mohammed Othman, known as Abu Qatada, and the refusal of his extradition to Jordan,” Justice Minister Ghaleb al-Zohbi said.

“The Jordanian government had provided the necessary guarantees to ensure a fair trial for Abu Qatada in the event of his extradition,” he said, quoted by Petra state news agency.

Amman was ready to study the ruling together with the British government and to work with the authorities there on the next steps to take in the case, Zohbi added.

But Abdel Fatah Shahada al-Tahawi, a cleric from Jordan’s Salafist Islamist movement, said he was “happy about this decision because it is entirely in favour of our brother Abu Qatada.”

“His extradition to Jordan and his imprisonment would threaten his life,” said Tahawi, adding that Abu Qatada would have been brought before a military court in Jordan.

Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks.

In their ruling, the British judges said evidence obtained through torture might be used against the 51-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian origin if he was sent back to face a retrial.

The judges announced that Abu Qatada, who has spent most of the past seven years in British jails fighting deportation, should be freed on bail on Tuesday.