Jul 09 2013

Bob Blackman MP “overjoyed” at deportation of Abu Qatada

bob_blackmanAfter 8 years of legal wrangling, Abu Qatada has successfully been deported to Jordan. The man once described as Osama Bin Laden’s ‘right hand man in Europe’ has fought successive deportation attempts on the grounds of human rights.

Since relocating to Harrow in December 2012, large protests have taken place outside the preacher’s tax-payer funded home in Stanmore and local residents have had to cope with the pressures of a continual police presence.

The deportation has been successful following the conclusion of a new treaty between the British and Jordanian Governments. Abu Qatada, who faces terrorist charges in his native Jordan, argued that there was the possibility that he could be convicted using third-party evidence obtained under torture – a practice which is in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. The newly signed treaty addresses these concerns.

Local MP, Bob Blackman, said: “I am sorry to say that it has taken 8 years and £2.2 million of public money to achieve this however I am overjoyed at the result. Abu Qatada has stood as a symbol of injustice and I am proud that this Government has dismantled that symbol. The battle will now be to prevent Qatada’s family [who remain in Harrow] from receiving any financial support from Harrow Council. There is of course also the worry of what could happen if Abu Qatada is found innocent in Jordan. He may seek to come back to the UK, citing his right to a family life under the auspices of the ECHR. I will be speaking directly to the Government to gain assurances on both of these matters”.

Abu Qatada’s wife and children, some of whom are British citizens, remain in the UK and continue to live in the house provided for Qatada in Harrow. There is concern that, should Central Government funds cease, that the family will seek assistance from Harrow Council under the statutory duty of care provisions.

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