Britain allowed new legal bid to deport Abu Qatada
Britain's interior ministry has won permission to appeal against a decision by judges to block the extradition of terror suspect Abu Qatada to Jordan, a spokesman said on Wednesday.
A judge accepted the Home Office's challenge against last month's ruling by Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), which blocked the extradition over fears that evidence obtained through torture could be used against Abu Qatada.
"We are pleased that the Court of Appeal has granted us permission to appeal against SIAC's decision on the deportation of Abu Qatada," a spokesman for the Home Office told AFP.
"As we have said, the Government strongly disagrees with SIAC's ruling, and we remain committed to deporting this dangerous man."
The radical Islamist cleric -- dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe -- was released on bail following the SIAC ruling, in a severe blow to the British government.
British authorities have kept him in custody for most of the last decade and repeatedly tried to send him to Jordan to face trial.
Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for involvement in terror attacks, but both British and European judges have accepted his argument that evidence obtained by torture might be used against him in a retrial.
Prime Minister David Cameron said last month that he was "completely fed up with the fact that this man is still at large in our country".
Abu Qatada, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin in his early 50s, is currently under curfew 16 hours a day and is wearing an electronic tag, but he is free to leave his home in northwest London between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
© 2012 AFP