Cameron 'Fed Up' With Abu Qatada Still In UK

Cameron 'Fed Up' With Abu Qatada Still In UK

David Cameron has said he is "fed up" that Abu Qatada is still in the country, as the cleric returned home after his release from prison.

On a visit to Italy, the Prime Minister said: "I am completely fed up with the fact that this man is still at large in our country.

"He has no right to be here, we believe he is a threat to our country. We have moved heaven and earth to try to comply with every single dot and comma of every single convention to get him out of our country.

"It is extremely frustrating and I share the British people's frustration with the situation we find ourselves in."

The 52-year-old refugee was freed after a UK judge ruled he could not expect a fair trial if he was returned to Jordan, where he is wanted on terrorism-related charges.

A minister in the Jordanian government told Sky News his country will renew its efforts to convince the British courts to overturn their decision.

Nayef al Fayez said: "We share a similar disappointment (as the UK). We must be sure that the right decision will be taken and we will continue to co-ordinate closely with them in that regard."

The decision to free Qatada is the latest twist in an 11-year legal battle, that is believed to have cost the British taxpayer at least £1m.

Qatada, once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, will have to obey a 16-hour curfew and can only leave his home between 8am and 4pm.

He will also have to wear an electronic tag, cannot use the internet and will be barred from contacting certain people - who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Round-the-clock surveillance of his home is now expected to be put in place, at a reported cost of up to £100,000 a week.

A seven-page document released by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) lists the comprehensive conditions with which he has to comply.

They also include being forbidden from leading prayers, only being allowed one bank account, and not being allowed near any train or London Underground stations.

Qatada was greeted by a small group of protesters as he arrived home in northwest London following his release from prison in Worcestershire.

Jackie Chaunt, 50, who works nearby, said: "He shouldn't be here. He was supposed to be deported to Jordan. It's a disgrace."

But others say the British judiciary's decision must be respected. Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "I think the politicians and the media should calm down.

"They should allow the due process to be completed and they should respect the right of judges to interpret it and base decisions on legislation passed by Parliament".

Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed the Government will continue to fight to "get rid" of him and said the Home Office will appeal the judge's decision.

"The Government has been doing everything it can to get rid of Abu Qatada and we will continue to do so," she said.

Qatada was originally convicted of terror-charges in Jordan in his absence in 1999.

The UK judge in Qatada's case ruled that, despite assurances from Jordan, it could not be wholly sure that evidence from witnesses who had been tortured would not be included in any re-trial. 

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called for ministers to travel to Jordan straight away for discussions.

She said: "I think people will be really concerned that instead of seeing Abu Qatada on a plane to Jordan we've actually got him out on bail and on Britain's streets instead."

Jordan's King Abdullah II is due to visit London next week, when it is expected that discussions on Qatada will take place.

Mr Cameron's official spokesman said: "I am sure there will be further discussions with the Jordanian government about the Abu Qatada case. They have demonstrated that they are very happy to help us."

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