28 March 2013
UK Court of Appeals rejects deportation of Islamist cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan
A UK Court of Appeals rejected an attempt by the UK government to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, on the ground that states cannot expel a person where there is a real risk that this person will face a trial based on evidence obtained by torture. The Court upheld a ruling from November 2012 by the Special Immigrations Appeals Commission (Siac) that blocked Qatada’s return to Jordan to stand trial because ‘there was a real risk he would be subject to a flagrant denial of justice’. The Siac in turn had upheld the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the case Othman (Abu Qatada) v. the United Kingdom (17 January 2012). The ECtHR found that evidence against Qatada was obtained by torture of his co-defendants and that there was a real risk of a flagrant denial of justice if he were deported to Jordan. The Siac also said the diplomatic assurances obtained by the UK government were insufficient to prove that torture-based evidence would not be admitted in any retrial.