[JURIST] Jordan’s Parliament [official website] approved a treaty with the UK Wednesday that will lead to the deportation and fair trial of radical cleric Abu Qatada [BBC profile; JURIST news archive]. The new treaty passed [AFP report] with support from both houses of parliament, provides for mutual legal assistance between the two nations and can include any persons from each country. Last month Qatada indicated that he will not challenge his deportation [AFP report] if Jordan ratifies a treaty guaranteeing a fair trial. The deportation process of Qatada is expected to resume within weeks, once the treaty is signed into law by Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Qatada, previously described as “Osama Bin Laden’s right hand man in Europe,” has been held in the UK for more than a decade since he was arrested in 2002 under the anti-terrorism act. In April the UK Court of Appeal refused [JURIST report] to allow the government to appeal to the Supreme Court an earlier decision not to deport [JURIST reports] Qatada until a fair trial treaty has been ratified, fearing Qatada will be tortured upon his return to Jordan. The UK Special Immigration Appeals Commission denied [JURIST report] bail last May after Qatada was granted bail [JURIST report] in February and rearrested to begin deportation proceedings. In February 2009 the European Court of Human Rights ordered [JURIST report] the UK to pay Qatada £2,500 in damages, determining that he was illegally detained in violation of the European Convention of Human Rights.