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Qatada not to be freed during Olympics

Qatada, 51, was contesting his deportation to Jordan, where he faces terror charges.



London: Radical jailed cleric Abu Qatada - once considered Osama bin Laden`s right hand man in Europe – on Tuesday lost his fresh bid for freedom when the High Court upheld an earlier verdict which said he could pose a risk during the London Olympics.

Qatada, 51, was contesting his deportation to Jordan, where he faces terror charges.

Judges Lord Justice Hughes and Justice Silber said they were satisfied his appeal against continuing detention should be rejected, and added that managing the risk he posed during the Olympics would be "exceptionally problematic".

In May, Qatada had mounted a similar appeal, and the court had given similar reasons for denying him bail.

His lawyer Edward Fitzgerald had claimed in the court that Qatada`s detention for almost seven years was "disproportionate and unlawful".

Qatada, who is being held at Long Lartin Prison in Worcestershire, was convicted in his absence in Jordan of involvement with terror attacks in 1998.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission is due to rule on his deportation at a tribunal hearing in October.

PTI

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