Jordan publishes 'Abu Qatada treaty'

Abu Qatada Image copyright AFP
Image caption Abu Qatada has indicated he will not fight deportation

The treaty between the UK and Jordan which paves the way for radical cleric Abu Qatada to be deported has been officially published in Jordan.

The Jordanian government's Official Gazette printed it - a necessary step before it can be fully ratified.

Security Minister James Brokenshire said he welcomed the publication.

"Whilst further steps remain, our focus is on seeing Abu Qatada on a plane to Jordan at the earliest opportunity," he said.

An exchange of diplomatic letters is also necessary between the two countries.

Once the ratification process is complete, the UK government will need to restart deportation proceedings.

Abu Qatada has indicated he will not challenge deportation once the treaty has been fully ratified.

Britain has been trying to deport Abu Qatada since 2005, and he has been detained and released several times during the legal battle.

He arrived in Britain and claimed asylum in 1993, but became notorious for preaching radical views such as support for the killing of Jews and people who leave Islam.

In 1999, the cleric was convicted of terrorism charges in his absence in Jordan and sentenced to life in prison.

He now faces a retrial on those charges, but his lawyers have said some of the evidence may have come from people who were tortured to make them implicate him.

Abu Qatada is currently in London's Belmarsh Prison after breaching a bail condition in March which restricted the use of mobile phones and other communication devices.

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