Terror suspect Abu Qatada today lodged an appeal with Europe's human rights judges which effectively blocks the Government's attempts to deport him to Jordan, officials said.
Qatada's legal team claims that judges at the European Court of Human Rights
were wrong three months ago when they ruled that he would not be at
risk of torture if returned to Jordan, a court spokeswoman said.
The court's Grand Chamber will decide whether to hear his appeal, but the radical cleric, once described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe, cannot be deported until the court has reached a decision.
The move is separate from any appeal Qatada's legal team
may make over Tuesday's decision by Home Secretary Theresa May to
continue with his deportation after receiving assurances from Jordan
that evidence gained through torture would not be used against him.
Instead it relates to a different strand of the original decision of
the Strasbourg-based court which found that the 51-year-old would not
face being tortured himself if deported.
KEY EVENTS IN ABU QATADA'S BATTLE AGAINST DEPORTATION
September 16 1993 - The Jordanian father of five claims asylum when he arrives in Britain on a forged passport.
June 1994 - He is allowed to stay in Britain.
March 1995 - Qatada issues a 'fatwa' justifying the killing of converts from Islam, their wives and children in Algeria.
May 1998 - He applies for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.
April 1999 - He is convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment.
October 1999 - The radical cleric speaks in London advocating the killing of Jews and praising attacks on Americans.
- He is arrested by anti-terror police over involvement in a plot to
bomb Strasbourg Christmas market. Officers find him in possession of
£170,000 in cash, including £805 in an envelope marked 'For the
mujahedin in Chechnya'.
December 2001 - Qatada becomes one of Britain's most wanted men after going on the run from his home in Acton, West London.
October 2002 - He is arrested by police in a council house in south London and detained in Belmarsh high-security jail.
March 2005 - He is freed on conditional bail and placed on a control order.
August 2005 - The preacher is arrested under immigration rules as the Government seeks to deport him to Jordan.
- The Court of Appeal rules that deporting him would breach his human
rights because evidence used against him in Jordan may have been
obtained through torture.
May 2008 - Qatada is granted bail by the immigration tribunal but told he must stay inside for 22 hours a day.
June 2008 - He is released from Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire and moves in to a four bedroomed £800,000 home in West London.
November 2008 - He is rearrested after the Home Office tells an immigration hearing of fears he plans to abscond.
- Qatada's bail is revoked by the Special Immigration Appeals
Commission (SIAC) after hearing secret evidence that the risk of him
absconding has increased.
February 18 2009
- In a landmark judgment, five Law Lords unanimously back the
Government's policy of removing terror suspects from Britain on the
basis of assurances from foreign governments. It is ruled he can be
deported to Jordan to face terror charges.
February 19 2009
- Qatada is awarded £2,500 compensation by the European Court of Human
Rights after the judges rule that his detention without trial in the UK
under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.
- European judges rule the firebrand cleric can be sent back to Jordan
with diplomatic assurances but he cannot be deported while 'there
remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used
February 6 2012 - SIAC rules he can be released on bail, despite posing a risk to national security.
February 9 2012
- David Cameron and King Abdullah of Jordan agree on the 'importance of
finding an effective resolution' to his case, Downing Street says.
February 13 2012 - It emerges Qatada has been released on bail from Long Lartin prison.
April 17 2012 - The cleric is arrested as the Government prepares to deport him to Jordan.
April 18 2012 - Abu Qatada lodges an appeal - potentially delaying his deportation by months
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