The man once described by a Spanish judge as Osama bin Laden’s righthand man in Europe was freed briefly in February on the most restrictive bail conditions ever imposed in Britain, including a 22-hour curfew.
But the Jordanian was taken back to prison when the home secretary, Theresa May, ordered a new deportation attempt just hours before his lawyers lodged an appeal at the European court of human rights, which led to an immediate block on the deportation. May was accused by critics of letting Qatada off the hook and mixing up the date of his appeal deadline.
The fresh attempt to free him involves a challenge to a ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in May that releasing him from prison during the Olympics would be “exceptionally problematic”. His lawyers also claim there is no immediate prospect of his deportation.
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