Jordan removes last hurdle to cleric's extradition from UK

By REUTERS
June 12, 2013 21:40

AMMAN - Jordan has removed the last hurdle preventing Britain from sending radical cleric Abu Qatada back home for trial by approving an extradition treaty satisfying British concerns about evidence used against him, officials said on Wednesday.

The British government has for years been unable to deport Abu Qatada back to his native Jordan, where he is wanted on alleged terrorism charges, because judges have said evidence obtained through torture could be used against him.

The saga has been embarrassing for Britain's Conservative-led government, which wants to appear tough on security and immigration.

An extradition agreement, passed by the lower house of Jordan's parliament last week and by the senate on Tuesday, must still be signed by King Abdullah before it becomes law, a move expected as early as next week.

"This should be the last legal impediment and will clear the way for the British authorities to deport him. In our case there was never a problem to return him," a Jordanian official who requested anonymity said.


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