‘Furious’ Cameron telephones King of Jordan in fight to get Qatada deported

Craig Woodhouse
The London Evening Standard [UK]
8 Feb 2012

A ‘furious’ David Cameron today took personal charge of attempts to deport a radical Muslim cleric who will be released from high-security prison to his Acton home within days.

The Prime Minister phoned King Abdullah of Jordan this afternoon as the row over Abu Qatada intensified.

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire will also be sent to Jordan in a bid to seek assurances that evidence obtained through torture will not be used against Qatada if he is kicked out of Britain.

The 51-year-old, once known as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, is wanted in Jordan on terrorism charges. But judges in Strasbourg have ruled he cannot be deported while the risk of torture-obtained evidence being used against him remains.

On Monday a judge in Britain decided Qatada cannot be kept behind bars while he awaits deportation, having been locked up for six-and-a-half years. Aides said Mr Cameron had taken charge because he was “absolutely furious about this and he wants to do everything he can to get the man deported”.

The Prime Minister described the situation as “completely unacceptable” as MPs voiced mounting anger about the case at Prime Minister’s question time.

Labour’s Geraint Davies raised fears that the “truly dangerous” Qatada would be “roaming the streets of London” shortly before the Olympics, while home affairs committee member Steve McCabe accused Mr Cameron of being “dangerously complacent”.

Mr Cameron said: “We are doing every-thing we can to get this man out of the country.” His aides warned the process may not be “straightforward”.

RelatedBBC tells journalists to stop calling Muslim hate preacher Abu Qatada ‘an extremist’

At Weasel Zippers Zip observes, Of course if he was considered right-wing he’d have the “extremist” label slapped on him with no hesitation.

Because in PC looney land calling a terrorist “extreme” is a “value judgment.”

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