[QODLink]
Europe
Extradition of alleged bin Laden aide blocked
European human rights court says there is a "real risk" that evidence against Abu Qatada had been "obtained by torture".
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2012 20:11

The European Court of Human Rights has blocked the extradition of Jordanian national Abu Qatada, who is alleged to have been Osama bin Laden's right-hand-man in Europe.

The court in its judgement said on Tuesday that there was a "real risk" that evidence against Abu Qatada, a UK-based Muslim religious leader, had been "obtained by torture of third persons" in custody in Jordan.

The court "finds that there is a real risk that the applicant's retrial would amount to a flagrant denial of justice" - a violation of Article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights.

Abu Qatada, once labelled bin Laden's right-hand-man in Europe by a Spanish judge, maintained he faced torture in his homeland after being sentenced in his absence to life imprisonment for terrorism offences.

Abu Qatada, also known as Omar Mohammed Othman, is included on a UN list of people associated with the presumed perpetrators of the September 11, 2001,  attacks in the US.

Jordan says Abu Qatada, who has had political asylum in Britain since 1993, conspired to carry out the 1998 bombings in Amman, Jordan, on the American School and the Jerusalem Hotel.

He also allegedly funded a violent network known as Reform and Challenge (Al-Islah Wal Tahhadi) which was dismantled in 1999, but received an amnesty for those charges.

Jordan has repeatedly urged London to extradite him.

A Jordanian of Palestinian origin, he has been in and out of prison since moving to Britain.

"The applicant has discharged the burden that could be fairly imposed on him of establishing the evidence against him was obtained by torture," the court said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.