April 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Judges in Europe meet later to rule on whether terror suspect Abu Qatada can be deported from his home in London to face charges in Jordon.
Five judges will hold talks on whether the case should be heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.
No reasons are ever likely to be revealed for the decision.
The cost of holding Qatada in Britain is estimated to be more than £3 million.
Qatada’s legal team are challenging the court’s decision that he could be sent back to Jordan with diplomatic assurances that he would not be tortured.
Hardly any Grand Chamber appeals are successful, but if the appeal is granted, Qatada, 51, is likely to apply to a senior immigration judge for bail and could be freed from Belmarsh high-security jail within weeks.
Qatada, who is said to have wide and high-level support among extremists, was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998 and faces a retrial in his home country.
He also featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the September 11 bombers.