Terror suspect 'moves to bigger house' in Britain: report

11th December 2012, Comments 0 comments

Terror suspect Abu Qatada, once dubbed Osama bin Laden's righthand man in Europe, has moved to a bigger house funded by the British taxpayer, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The Sun tabloid reported that the radical Islamist cleric, who is fighting extradition from Britain to Jordan, has moved to a larger residence in the greater London area with his wife and five children.

Britain's interior ministry said it would not comment on operational matters.

The ministry won permission last week to appeal against a decision by British judges to block Abu Qatada's extradition.

The preacher was convicted in Jordan in absentia of involvement in terror attacks in 1998, but both British and European judges have accepted his argument that evidence obtained by torture might be used against him in a retrial.

British authorities have kept him in custody for most of the last decade and repeatedly tried to send him to Jordan to face trial.

But they were forced to release him on bail last month following the ruling by Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission that he should not be deported, and he returned to his family home in northwest London.

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 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Prime Minister David Cameron is due to discuss the extradition case with Jordan's King Abdullah II in London on Tuesday.

The prime minister said last month that he was "completely fed up" with Abu Qatada's continued presence in Britain.

© 2012 AFP

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