Jordan publishes treaty on cleric Qatada`s deportation
London: The treaty between Britain and Jordan which will eventually pave the way for radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada to be deported from the UK has been officially published in Jordan.
The publishing in Jordanian government`s `Official Gazette is a necessary step before the treaty can be fully ratified and enforced.
"Whilst further steps remain, our focus is on seeing Abu Qatada on a plane to Jordan at the earliest opportunity," UK security minister James Brokenshire said.
An exchange of diplomatic letters is also necessary between the two countries.
Once the ratification process is complete, the UK government will need to restart deportation proceedings.
Last month, Jordan`s parliament approved the treaty with the UK designed to facilitate the deportation of 53-year-old Qatada.
Qatada has indicated he will not challenge deportation once the treaty has been fully ratified.
Britain has been trying to deport the cleric since 2005, who is wanted in his home country on terror-related charges.
He has been detained and released several times during the legal battle and is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London after breaching a bail condition in March.
In 1999, he was convicted of the terrorism charges in his absence in Jordan and sentenced to life in prison.
He now faces a retrial on those charges, but his lawyers have said some of the evidence may have come from people who were tortured to make them implicate him.
The treaty ensures his right to a fair trial.
Qatada fled with his wife and children to the UK in 1993 using a forged UAE passport.
He requested asylum on grounds of religious persecution, claiming he had been tortured in Jordan.
Qatada, wanted in Jordan on alleged terror charges, has fought against his deportation from the UK for almost eight years.
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