With the British government under increasing pressure to defy European law, Britain’s Home Office Minister James Brokenshire has begun talks in Jordan on conditions for the deportation of the radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, according to The Guardian.
Qatada, who had been held without charge for six years in Britain, was released yesterday on strict bail conditions though these may be lifted entirely if the British government fails to find a legal way of deporting him to face terrorism charges in his home country in the coming weeks.
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The European Court of Human Rights ruled last month that deporting Abu Qatada to Jordan would be illegal due to the risk that evidence obtained under torture could be used against him at trial.
The release of Qatada, an alias for Omar Mahmud Othman, 51, has caused an uproar in Britain, where politicians and members of the public alike have denounced the European court’s ruling, the decision to grant him bail and the failure to deport him to Jordan all together.
According to Time, the conditions of Qatada’s bail prevent him from using a mobile telephone, leading prayers, attending a mosque, taking his children to school or leaving his house for more than two in every 24 hours.
But many still this this as too much. Former Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones has said Prime Minster David Cameron should consider simply deporting Abu Qatada in violation of the ECtHR order, according to The Daily Telegraph.
More from GlobalPost: Islamist Abu Qatada cannot be deported from UK, rules human rights court
Britain has already received assurances that torture will not complicate proceedings against Qatada. According to The Guardian, Cameron himself spoke last week with Jordan’s King Hussein.
"Jordan will promise to offer every guarantee of a fair trial in the kingdom," a Jordnian spokesman was quoted as saying. Legal Affairs Minister Ayman Odeh was quoted as saying: "We are now making the necessary arrangements to do such assurances through the British government. Very soon something will be done for this purpose."
According to Interpol, Qatada is subject to UN Sanctions freezing his assets, banning him from travel and an arms embargo.
Here is a video of former Labour Home and Defense Secretary Lord John Reid criticizing the ECtHR ruling of last month.