AMMAN: Jordan on Sunday vowed “credibility and transparency” in dealing with radical Islamist cleric Abu Qatada after Britain deported him to Amman to face terror charges, ending a nearly decade-long legal saga.
The Palestinian-born preacher, 53,was taken from prison in an armored police van to a military airfield on the outskirts of London, where he boarded a privately chartered jet that lifted off into the night sky.
“The government is keen on credibility and transparency in handling the issue of Abu Qatada,” who was flown out of Britain at (1:46 a.m. Manila time) on Sunday, Jordan’s information minister and government spokesman Mohammad Momani, told the state-run Petra news agency.
“The deportation of Abu Qatada, which came as a result of Jordanian-British coordination and cooperation sends a message to all fugitives that they will face justice in Jordan.”
Britain was finally able to expel the father-of-five, once dubbed Osama bin Laden’s deputy in Europe, after the two governments last month formally approved the so-called Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters treaty, guaranteeing that evidence obtained by torture would not be used against him in any retrial.
Home Secretary Theresa May said his departure proved that the government’s efforts to deport him had been worth the £1.7 million ($2.7 million, two million euros) legal bill and would be “welcomed by the British public.”
Abu Qatada is expected to be handed over to military prosecutors upon his arrival in an airport in Amman.