Abu Qatada, radical Muslim cleric, freed from U.K. prison after court denies extradition to Jordan on terror charges
Muslim Cleric Abu Qatada is driven out of the prison gates after he was released from HMP Long Lartin near Evesham on November 13, 2012 in Worcestershire, England. / Getty
LONDON British authorities say radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada has been freed from prison after a court ruled he cannot be deported from Britain to Jordan to face terrorism charges.
Abu Qatada, a Palestinian-born Jordanian cleric, was convicted in Jordan over terror plots in 1999 and 2000, and he will face a retrial if deported there from Britain.
- Al Qaeda-linked U.K. cleric Abu Qatada granted bail, avoids deportation
- U.K. judge denies bail to radical preacher Abu Qatada
- Radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada loses deportation appeal
Authorities confirmed Tuesday that he had been released from Long Lartin prison, in central England.
The Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which handles major terrorism and deportation cases, had said Monday that it was not convinced Jordan could guarantee Abu Qatada a fair trial. It said it believed evidence gleaned through torture could be used against the cleric.
Britain's government, which plans to appeal, has been attempting to expel Abu Qatada since 2001.
Popular on CBSNews.com
- Boat hijack stokes tension between N. Korea, China
- China probes rice tainted with cancer-causing cadmium
- Lebanon reportedly stopping Syria refugees at border
- Hezbollah suffers heavy losses fighting inside Syria
- Visitors evacuate after suicide at Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral
- Syria activists: 31 Hezbollah fighters killed in Qusair
- Israel and Syria exchange fire on Golan Heights
- Russia shows accused U.S. spy heading home