Radical cleric Abu Qatada released from jail

  • Associated Press
  • November 13, 2012 - 5:28 AM

LONDON - British authorities say radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada has been freed from prison after a court ruled he cannot be deported from Britain to Jordan to face terrorism charges.

Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-born Jordanian cleric, was convicted in Jordan over terror plots in 1999 and 2000, and he will face a retrial if deported there from Britain.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that he had been released from Long Lartin prison, in central England.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which handles major terrorism and deportation cases, had said Monday that it was not convinced Jordan could guarantee Abu Qatada a fair trial. It said it believed evidence gleaned through torture could be used against the cleric.

Britain's government, which plans to appeal, has been attempting to expel Abu Qatada since 2001.

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