Qatada is generally thought to be a dangerous radical Muslim cleric. He was once described as Osama Bin Laden's right hand man in Europe. After attempts to deport Qatada failed, thanks to the EU court, a decision followed to release him on bail. The immigration judge has claimed he was left no alternative once Qatada's deportation to Jordan was stopped. He has faced imprisonment and movement restrictions for the last six and a half years.
Qatada was a problem for the former Labour government in the UK not just the current coalition. The Guardian reported that, David Blunkett, former Labour foreign secretary said, "It is an unholy mess. We are left in the absurd position of not being able to remove a man even though everyone accepts he won't be tortured, not being able to keep him in prison because his human rights trump the protection of the British people, and a government that has watered down control orders so that they are more lax than was previously the case."
It went on with comments from a Conservative back-bencher which said, "It makes a mockery of human rights law that a terrorist suspect deemed 'dangerous' by our courts can't be returned home, not for fear that he might be tortured, but because European judges don't trust the Jordanian justice system".
In this blogger's humble opinion it makes a mockery of the UK full stop.
Even Mr Qatada's own defence team expressed concerns about him. They went as far as to say that Qatada was a “grave risk” to our National Security. In recent days British people have been warned of an ever increasing terrorist threat and it would seem this man walking British Streets again will do nothing to improve that situation.
Qatada's bail conditions will mean that he is only free from curfew for two hours a day. He will be allowed to take one of his children to school. His lawyers argued that such a strict curfew also went against the man's human rights.
An extended period of bail will not be allowed. The immigration appeals panel statement referred to a three month period, “If by the end of that, the Secretary of State is not able to put before me evidence of demonstrable progress in negotiating sufficient assurances with the government of Jordan … it’s very likely that I would consider that a continued deprivation of liberty is no longer justified.”
Whilst we will all agree that the law is the law and it should be adhered to this case leaves a sense of unease. The UK Home Office has said,"This is a dangerous man who we believe poses a real threat to our security and who has not changed in his views or attitude to the UK."
Opinion: Qatada has not been proven guilty of a crime as such. He has been detained pending deportation under immigration laws. Some have said this bail turn of events will spur the UK government on to ensure that Abu can in the end be deported. However whilst he has committed no crime as such this man has made his feelings toward the UK clear.
His curfew regulations will be tight including wearing an electronic tag. He will be released in a few days after the necessary security checks regarding his residence and the like have been satisfied. His extended stay in the UK, his legal battle, his detention and more will have cost the UK dearly. It will have cost time, money and effort that could and should be spent in a more worthwhile way. Most people in the UK will not give one hoot about how he may be treat in Jordan. After all he is living in our country and cares not one jot about us. Two wrongs may not make a right but this case is just plain wrong.