Nairobi: Kenya on Thursday made a fresh attempt to deport radical Jamaican imam Abdulla al-Faisal on a private jet scheduled to fly him back to his country, officials said.
"I have been told by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit officers that the subject is no longer within the court`s jurisdiction, his destination is Jamaica," State Counsel Edwin Okello told a high court judge in Nairobi.
The cleric checked through immigration at Nairobi`s international airport but it was not clear whether his jet had taken off, an immigration official said on condition of anonymity.
However, government spokesman Alfred Mutua said the imam had left Kenya.
"Abdullah al-Faisal was deported earlier today and he is no longer in Kenya," Mutua said in a statement, denying reports by some Muslim rights officials that the cleric was still in the country.
Al-Faisal, who was jailed for four years in Britain for inciting racial hatred, was arrested in the port city of Mombasa on December 31 by Kenyan police, who had since twice tried and failed to deport him.
The 45-year-old firebrand cleric`s arrest without charge sparked an outcry among Kenya`s Muslim community and protests which left five dead following Friday prayers on January 15.
The unprecedented riots outside Nairobi`s main mosque had led to a massive sweep in which police arrested 700 Somalis and drew renewed threats from Somalia`s al Qaeda-linked Shebab group.