Deport Abu Qatada case talks “useful” - Bexley MP James Brokenshire
PUBLISHED: 12:43 23 February 2012
Bexley MP James Brokenshire has returned from Jordan saying he held “useful discussions” with authorities over the deportation of hate preacher Abu Qatada
Mr Brokenshire, who is also the security minister, travelled to the Middle East last Wednesday (February 15) to meet with officials over sending the controversial cleric back to his homeland following his release from prison.
He was trying to receive guarantees that Abu Qatada would not be tortured should he return to Jordan, where he is accused of a number of terror offences.
The home secretary Theresa May replaced Mr Brokenshire in the talks having flown out on Friday.
Mr Brokenshire said: “I led useful discussions with the Jordanian authorities and talks with officials will continue.
“The UK and Jordan remain committed to ensuring that Abu Qatada must face justice and are pursuing all options with regard to his deportation.”
Qatada was released from Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire last week and he is currently under house arrest for 22 hours every day.
He is restricted to contact with his immediate family and he does not have the use of a phone. He has also been electronically tagged.
The government has to show progress in getting Qatada deported within three months or his bail conditions could be relaxed.
Mr Brokenshire added: “It is the Home Office’s intention to travel back to continue these negotiations shortly.”
Before flying on Friday Ms May said: “James Brokenshire has carried out useful talks with discussions with the Jordanian authorities and talks with officials will continue.”
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