Strasbourg (France), Jan.18 (ANI): Abu Qatada, once described as "Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe", cannot be extradited to Jordan, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
In a landmark judgment, the court said that Qatada would not receive a fair trial if he was returned to his native Jordan where he faces charges that he plotted bomb attacks on two hotels and providing finance and advice for another series of bomb attacks to coincide with the Millennium.
According to The Telegraph, the court said there would be a violation of his right to a fair trial under Article Six of the European Convention of Human Rights, "given the real risk of the admission of evidence obtained by torture at his retrial."
It is the first time that the court has found that an expulsion would be in violation of Article 6, which reflects the international consensus that the use of evidence obtained through torture makes a fair trial impossible.
Qatada, 51, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, has been convicted twice in Jordan in his absence for conspiracy to carry out bomb attacks on two hotels in Amman in 1998, and providing finance and advice for a series of bomb attacks in Jordan planned to coincide with the Millennium.
The cases were to be retried.
He was first arrested in 2002 and is currently held in Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire after breaching his bail conditions.
The court ruled that key diplomatic assurances received meant there would be no violation of Article Three, which bans the use of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.
It also said there would be no violation of Article Five, the right to liberty and security and no violation of Article 13, the right to an effective remedy.
The judgment is not final. There is a three-month period in which the government may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court for a final judgment, although the request may be refused. (ANI)
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