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Jordan approves agreement with Britain to extradite Abu Qatada - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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In this file picture taken on November 13, 2012 terror suspect Abu Qatada arrives at his home in northwest London , after he was released from prison. (AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE)

In this file photo taken on November 13, 2012, terror suspect Abu Qatada arrives at his home in northwest London after he was released from prison. (AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE)

Amman, Asharq Al-Awsat—The Jordanian upper house of parliament approved yesterday a legal cooperation agreement with Britain allowing the extradition of Muslim cleric Abu Qatada, who is wanted in Jordan on terrorism charges.

The director of Jordanian Adalah Center for Human Rights, Asim Rabab’ah, said the agreement will come into effect as soon as it is signed by King Abdullah II and published in the official gazette.

Rabab’ah told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the agreement plugs the gap which allowed the European court of human rights to stop the extradition of Abu Qatada to Jordan because of the lack of a fair trial and the use of torture to obtain evidence.”

He added that the agreement would need to be ratified by the British parliament before the extradition of Abu Qatada is approved. He further added that the Adalah Center would provide a delegation of four people, including medical and legal professionals, to travel to Britain to bring Qatada back to Jordan.

London’s Guardian newspaper reported in May that Abu Qatada’s lawyers had said he would “voluntarily go back to Jordan if and when its parliament ratifies a new deportation treaty with Britain.”

The agreement, which was signed for the Jordanian side by their ambassador in London, Mazen Hmoud, does not include crimes under military law, and allows both countries to refuse legal assistance to the other if the party which has received an assistance request deems the related crime is political, or if the said country deems the request harmful to its sovereignty, security or interests.

The British home secretary, Theresa May, said in a previous statement: “I think that once the agreement we reached with Jordan has been ratified by both parliaments, it will be possible to finally deport Abu Qatada.”

This agreement may enable Jordan to request the extradition of Walid Al-Kurdi, former chairman of the board of directors of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company. He was sentenced to 37 and a half years in prison after being found guilty of abuse of office and embezzlement in absentia.