A new legal agreement has been signed with Jordan which should allow the government to remove the last remaining obstacles to the deportation of Abu Qatada, the Home Secretary announced today.
The comprehensive mutual legal assistance treaty sets out a joint commitment between the UK and Jordan to tackle international crime, including a number of fair trial guarantees which would apply to individuals subject to immigration action who are returned to either country.
The Home Secretary today told the House of Commons she believed the treaty, once ratified by parliaments in both countries, would provide the courts with assurance that evidence obtained through torture will not be admitted at Qatada’s retrial on return to Jordan.
She said the treaty would deliver the protections required by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission to secure Qatada’s deportation, but warned that he would not be on a plane immediately.
Home Secretary Theresa May said:
I believe that the treaty we have agreed with Jordan – once ratified by both Parliaments – will finally make possible the deportation of Abu Qatada.
But as I have warned the House before, even when the treaty is fully ratified, it will not mean that Qatada will be on a plane to Jordan within days.
The treaty must now be agreed by the parliaments of both countries. The Home Secretary said it would be laid before the House of Commons and House of Lords for 21 sitting days, with ratification expected before the end of June.
As part of the government’s twin-track approach to deporting Qatada, she said she would be seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court She will also be able to make a new deportation decision based on the treaty.
Read the full speech
Read the text of the treaty