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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightUK deports Abu Qatada...

UK deports Abu Qatada to Jordan

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UK deports Abu Qatada to Jordan
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Amman: Palestinian-born Muslim preacher Abu Qatada has arrived in Amman after Britain deported him to face terrorism charges, ending a decade-long legal battle, a Jordanian government official has said.

"Abu Qatada landed at Marka airport in east Amman," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"He was escorted by British and Jordanian guards, who handed him over to state security court prosecutors."

Television pictures showed the Palestinian-born preacher dressed in a white robe and boarding the privately chartered aircraft at the RAF Northolt airbase in west London before it lifted into the sky at 1:46 GMT.

The deportation comes after a treaty guaranteeing that evidence obtained by torture would not be used against him in any retrial was agreed by the British and Jordanian governments last month.

The British Home Secretary, Theresa May, the fifth consecutive holder of her position to try to expel the cleric, confirmed that the 53-year-old, once dubbed Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe by a Spanish judge, had left the country.

"Abu Qatada was deported today to his home country of Jordan to face terrorism charges," May said in a written statement.

"His departure marks the conclusion of efforts to remove him since 2001 and I believe this will be welcomed by the British public.

"This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country."

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