Abu Qatada Claims Jordan is Violating His Rights
ABU QATADA CLAIMS JORDAN IS VIOLATING HIS RIGHTS – It took the British Home Office ten long years to finally deport the radical hate-preacher Abu Qatada to Jordan where he is now on trial for a string of charges against him for terrorism related offenses.
It has now been reported that Abu Qatada has refused to answer questions in relation to alleged terrorist activities in a Jordanian court claiming that the court setup violates the deportation agreement with Britain and Jordan.
The main charges are allegations of two foiled terrorist attacks on a number of Western nations in 1999 and 2000.
Prior to being deported to face these charges the Jordanian authorities sentenced 53 year old Abu Qatada to life imprisonment in absentia for the crimes, however the deal struck between Britain and Jordan was the he would receive a re-trial.
British authorities described Abu Qatada (real name Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman) as being a senior figure in the Al Quaeda terrorist organisation and with extremely close ties to Osama Bin Laden.
Abu Qatada has also been linked to a number of other known terrorists including the only man ever charged in the 9/11 atrocity, Zacarias Moussaoui and ‘Shoe Bomber’ Richard Reid.
The Jordanian authorities immediately arrested Abu Qatada upon his arrival in Jordon on July 7 and charged him with plotting to implement terror attacks twice on Jordanian soil.
Of the two planned attacks the first was in 1999 in which an American school was the target in the capital of Jordan whilst in 2000 the target was alleged to be directed at Israeli and American tourists and Western diplomats during the Millennium celebrations.
Jordanian authorities have declared that both charges would be heard separately, the first being the 2000 allegation that he was involved in attempting to murder Israeli and American tourists.
According to a statement made by Abu Qatada he refused to acknowledge a military judge citing that his presence violated the deportation agreement with Britain.
On laying the charges against him Abu Qatada stood defiantly in the dock and pleaded not guilty to all the charges; he later asked for a microphone to give the following statement:
“I will not answer questions by this court because I do not recognize its jurisdiction. This tribunal includes a military judge and this is a violation of the deal with Britain that encouraged me to return home for re-trial.” Abu Qatada
The presiding judge, after Abu Qatada statement, was forced to suspend the court session for 30 minutes before continuing in which finally resulted in the hearing being adjourned until 24 December.
The issue over being tried by a military judge was one of the main issues that prevented Britain from deporting Abu Qatada to Jordan. For years he and his lawyers successfully convinced the European Convention on Human Rights that such a trial by a military judge would not be impartial and therefore he would be persecuted resulting in a clear breach of his human rights.
Another issue with the deportation was that of ‘torture’ and it wasn’t until the Jordanian authorities agreed to ratify a treaty on such that Abu Qatada was finally allowed being deported.
Abu Qatada originally arrived in Britain on a forged passport in 1993 after escaping Jordan where the authorities were engaged in a crackdown on known or suspected terrorist leaders.
Under human rights laws Abu Qatada was initially granted asylum, however Abu Qatada was accused of plotting other terrorist activities, including fund raising for Al Qaeda in order to carry out terrorist attacks back in Jordan.
It was back in 2001 when the British authorities first attempted to deport Abu Qatada but after failing he was detained a year later under revised anti-terrorism laws; one aspect of the law allowed the British authorities to detain suspected terrorists with being formally charged.
In 2005 the anti-terrorism law was overturned which resulted in the release of Abu Qatada however the British authorities keep him under close surveillance in which he was subsequently arrested and detained on number other charges until finally this year being deported back to Jordan in order to face charges of terrorist related allegations.