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Plea to deport radical



LONDON: Britain’s interior ministry said today it had applied for permission to appeal against a decision by judges preventing terror suspect Abu Qatada from being extradited to Jordan.

“We confirm that we have submitted our grounds for appeal,” a Home Office spokesman said.

Abu Qatada — dubbed Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe — was released last month following the ruling he could not be extradited over fears that evidence obtained through torture could be used in his trial. His release was a severe blow to the British government, which has kept him in custody for most of the last decade and tried to send him to Jordan to face


Qatada was convicted in absentia in Jordan in 1998 for role in terror attacks, but British and European judges have accepted that proof obtained by torture might be used against him in a retrial. Abu Qatada, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin in his early 50s, is currently under curfew 16 hours a day and is wearing an electronic tag, but is free to leave his home in London between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.

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