Britain frees radical cleric after ruling

Nov. 13, 2012 at 8:28 AM
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LONDON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada has been released from prison on bail after a British court ruled he should not be deported to Jordan for trial.

He is being returned to his home in northwest London, where he will be under a 16-hour-a-day curfew, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

British authorizes have placed strict restrictions on who he can meet and will track his movements electronically. Other details of his bail are expected to be released later Tuesday.

Britain's Special Immigration Appeals Commission on Monday agreed with Qatada's appeal that he not be deported to Jordan for trial because evidence obtained by torture might be used by prosecutors.

Home Secretary Theresa May is appealing the commission's ruling, but that process is lengthy.

The king of Jordan is scheduled to visit London later this month, and May is expected to pressure him to assure British courts the cleric will receive a fair trial if he is sent to Jordan.

Videotapes of Qatada's sermons influenced Mohamed Atta, one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in the United States, the Home Office says.

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