From The Telegraph:
Terror suspect Abu Qatada will not be deported
By Tom Chivers and agencies
Last Updated: 6:59pm BST 09/04/2008
The man described as Osama bin Laden's "right-hand man" will not be deported from Britain.
Abu Qatada, a radical Islamist preacher, has successfully appealed against a decision to send him back to Libya [sic].
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) found that Mr Qatada, as well as a second man, faced a threat of torture if they returned to the Middle Eastern country.
The 44-year-old is reported to have had links to the "shoe bomber", Richard Reid, as well as Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "twentieth hijacker" in the September 11th plot.
The Master of the Rolls Sir Anthony Clarke, giving the judgment of the court, said there were "grounds for believing that there was a real risk that the respondents would be tortured some time after their return to Libya."
The ruling is the first test for the "memoranda of understanding" (MOU) between the Government and Tripoli, under which Libya undertook not to mistreat deportees.
The MOU was intended to allow the deportation of suspects without breaching human rights rules.
However, the court found that, "notwithstanding the terms of the MOU," the risk of mistreatment was still substantial. Home Office minister Tony McNulty has said that he intends to appeal the decision.
Mr McNulty said: "I am pleased that the courts dismissed all but one of Abu Qatada's reasons for appeal.
"We are seeking to overturn that point, and I believe that we will be able to secure his deportation to Jordan and we will push for it as soon as possible.
"In the meantime, he remains behind bars."
On the judgment in the cases of the two Libyans, the minister said:
"The Government's top objective is to keep the public safe and I am disappointed that the courts have found that deportations to Libya can't go ahead for now.
"We will continue to push for deportations for people who pose a risk to national security. "In the meantime, we will take all necessary steps to protect the public."
Mr Qatada was arrested in 2001 by anti-terrorism officers, seven years after arriving in the country on a false United Arab Emirates passport, but released without charge.
Described by a Spanish judge as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" and by the British authorities as "truly dangerous individual", he was arrested with £170,000 cash in his possession, including £805 in an envelope marked "For the mujahedin in Chechnya".
Mr Qatada, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, was finally arrested in an armed raid on a council house in south London in October 2002 and held in Belmarsh prison in south-east London. He was freed on conditional bail in 2005 but given a control order limiting his movements and contacts with other people.
Julia Hall, of international civil rights group Human Rights Watch, said: "These cases show that the British Government should stop trying to deport people to countries whose justice systems are deeply tainted by torture and other abuses.
"In the (Qatada) case, notably, the court was right to ignore the Jordanian government's fair trial promises, and find that a trial would likely be tainted by torture.
"Until (Jordan's security service) the General Intelligence Department stops torturing, promises of humane treatment and fair trial for a national security suspect are not credible.
"Jordanian assurances are a mere legal nicety."
Melancholicus is flabbergasted. He is astounded that this dangerous man — which is putting it rather mildly — may even be freed from custody since, if he cannot be deported and there is insufficient evidence to charge him with an offence, what else can be done with him?
Human Rights organisations have raised their predictable and exasperating hue and cry over the intended deportation of Qatada. They say that to deport him to a country where he may face torture is a violation of his “human rights”. But hold on here. Although there may be insufficient evidence to charge Abu Qatada with an offence, he is not an innocent man. He is an extremist fanatic who poses a grave threat to British society and to the safety of the British people. Where his sympathies lie in the struggle between islamist barbarism and western civilisation are more than abundantly clear. This man foments terror, supports it, encourages it, sympathises with those miscreants who seek to blow themselves — and thousands of ordinary bystanders — to kingdom come, even if he is not actually a terrorist himself. He rubs shoulders with murderous fanatics, men such as Osama bin Laden and the psychopathic simpletons Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid (thanks to whom Melancholicus is invariably compelled to remove his shoes before passing through airport security). Is it not true to say that on account of this set of circumstances, in which the fellow has shown himself clearly sympathetic to the killing and maiming of innocent people, he has forfeited his “human rights”, and that whatever might possibly happen to him in some foreign country after his deportation from Britain is nothing that the British government need ever worry about?
As for Julia Hall and her fellow travellers, Melancholicus can only say this: will these people ever realise, before it is too late, that we are all in the midst of a war, a war upon the outcome of which depends the survival of western civilisation? These agencies, as well as the British judiciary, are carrying on in such a fashion as to be more concerned about the welfare of enemy combatants than about the safety of the British people, never mind actually winning the war. Consider, gentle reader, how absurd would be the picture of the courts during the Second World War being more solicitous for the comfort of top nazis than for the people of Britain, and you will have a clear idea of how preposterous are the arguments of these human rights groups today. Moreover, Qatada is far more dangerous than any German POW in World War II, since he is able to carry on the war from his prison cell and can continue inspiring his bloodthirsty cohorts in their frenzy of hate. For whatever reason, Ms. Hall is worried more about Jordanian “legal niceties” than about the threat posed by the psychopath she is so foolishly defending.