After a decade long battle by the British Government to deport him, radical cleric Abu Qatada has finally left the country.
He was flown out of RAF Northolt to Jordan where he was taken straight to the country’s State Security Court and formally charged with terrorism.
The palestinian-born preacher was once described by a Spanish judge as “Osama bin Laden’s righthand man in Europe”
The British Government had been battling the courts since 2005 to send him home. The stalemate ended last month when Jordan signed an extradition treaty that evidence obtained through torture could not be used against him. Qatada had pledged in May to leave Britain if the treaty was fully ratified.
The British prime minister, David Cameron, welcomed Qatada’s removal:
“It’s an issue that, like the rest of the country, has made my blood boil; that this man, who has no right to be in the country, who’s a threat to our country, that it took so long and was so difficult to deport him. But we’ve done it, he’s back in Jordan, that’s excellent news.”