- Lawyers argued he should be released on bail after being held for six and a half years
- Home Office: ‘Qatada should remain in detention, our view has not changed’
Last updated at 5:59 PM on 6th February 2012
Hate preacher Abu Qatada will be released from jail within days after a judge today granted him bail.
Despite claims the radical Muslim cleric still poses a risk to national security, Mr Justice Mitting ruled today at a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission that he can be freed. He is expected to be released next week.
Qatada, 51, once described as ‘Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe’, is free to continue fighting his deportation to Jordan – where he’s wanted on suspicion of a Millennium bomb plot.
Speaking after today’s ruling, a Home Office spokesman said the Government ‘disagreed with the court’s decision’.
He said: ‘Qatada should remain in detention, our view has not changed. This is a dangerous man who we believe poses a real threat to our security and who has not changed in his views or attitude to the UK.’
Preacher of hate Abu Qatada (left) can be released on bail after more than six years in prison, Mr Justice Mitting (right) ruled
He went on: ‘We have argued for the strictest possible bail conditions to be imposed on Qatada, because this Government will take all necessary measures to protect national security.
‘This is not the end of the road and we are continuing to consider our legal options in response to the European Court’s ruling.’
The bail conditions will be similar to those set in 2008, with Qatada confined to his home for all but two one-hour periods each day. He will also be allowed to take one of his children to school.
Mr Justice Mitting said it would take ‘between a few days and about a week’ for MI5 to check the proposed bail address, which was not revealed by the court, before Qatada can be released.