LONDON - Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada could be deported to Jordan to face trial on terrorism charges within weeks, a British court heard on Monday, and it ruled he should remain in jail in the meantime to prevent him from absconding.
Abu Qatada's deportation to Jordan, which the British government has been trying to achieve for eight years, is expected to take place within weeks when Jordan ratifies a new treaty with Britain, according to evidence shown to the court.London says Abu Qatada, who is accused of spreading radical ideas that inspired one of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers, poses a national security risk, but he has never been charged with any offense in Britain.
The British courts have repeatedly blocked his deportation on the grounds that a trial in Jordan risked being tainted by evidence obtained using torture.
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