Jordan Court Finds Abu Qatada Not Guilty

Abu Qatada the radical Muslim preacher was found not guilty of terrorism offenses by a Jordan court over a 1998 alleged plot.

A civilian judge panel sitting at a Security Court cleared Qatada of conspiracy charges to carry out acts of terrorism.

In July of 2013, the UK deported Abu Qatada. A verdict on an additional alleged plot was pushed back to September.

The British Home Office said the Muslim preacher could not return to the UK.

The court’s verdict comes following a legal battle of nearly 10 years to force the cleric to stand trial in the country of his birth and will raise concerns he might use his great influence to destabilize Jordan during a time the country has increasing turmoil surrounding its borders.

Qatada who was named Omar Othman at birth was given asylum by the UK in 1994, but M15 the security service there saw him becoming more and more a security threat to the nation as he hardened his views on jihad.

He had been accused of conspiracy to commit the terrorist acts after a series of bombings, which included one in a hotel in 1998 in Jordan.

He was given a conviction in absentia but those convictions eventually were thrown out due being based upon evidence that might have come from the torturing of a co-defendant.

Last year in a treaty that was signed between the UK and Jordan the use of that evidence was banned from Jordanian trials, removing the last obstacle to deport Qatada who by British judges has been described as truly dangerous.

When UK deported Qatada in July of last year, Theresa May the Home Secretary said she was as frustrated as the public about the cost of more than 1.7 million pounds and the length of time it took to deport the cleric.

Qatada fought deportation for 8 years.

Most experts on the situation believe that Jordan will go to great lengths to keep Qatada imprisoned and chances are slim that he would ever be free again so the thought about him returning to the UK if granted permission is mute at this point.

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