Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Monday, 10 November 2008

Arrested Qatada to face hearing

By Dominic Casciani
BBC News

Abu Qatada
Abu Qatada, "Osama Bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe"

A radical preacher once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe faces a fresh tribunal hearing after being arrested over the weekend.

Abu Qatada, who has been fighting deportation to Jordan, was taken from his home on Saturday morning. He had been held under a 22-hour curfew.

Family friends told the BBC Mr Qatada had been accused of breaching his strict bail conditions.

Mr Qatada's case will be before a special immigration judge on Wednesday.

National security cases involving foreign nationals trying to avoid deportation are heard by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

According to sources close to the family, police entered Mr Qatada's home and arrested him shortly after 7am on Saturday morning.

The BBC understands that the cleric was taken to Belmarsh high security prison in south-east London, where he was accused of a possible breach of his exceptionally strict bail conditions.

These include wearing an electronic tag, not attending a mosque nor leading prayers, and staying in his home for up 22 hours a day.

He is allowed out for two hours - but in one hour blocks to prevent him travelling too far from his home.

Mr Qatada's is not allowed to use a mobile phone or the internet. Among the people he is banned from meeting is Osama bin Laden.

The Home Office refused to comment on the arrest, saying it would not discuss individual cases.

However, it is understood the arrest was made after a court order rescinded his bail on Friday.

Mr Qatada was released after the Court of Appeal ruled he could not be deported to Jordan because the conviction, in his absence, could be based on evidence obtained under torture.

The Home Office has challenged this decision and the case is set to go before the Law Lords.

Print Sponsor

Profile: Abu Qatada
17 Jun 08 |  UK
Does England have house arrest?
18 Jun 08 |  Magazine

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific