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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Four terror suspects granted bail
Abu Qatada
Abu Qatada was among five terror suspects to be refused bail
Four suspected international terrorists who faced deportation from the UK have been granted bail by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac).

But Abu Qatada, the radical Islamic cleric who was also applying for bail, was among five suspects who had their applications refused by Siac.

The bailed men, who are all Algerian, are known as A, G, H, and T. The case of a 10th man, B, has been adjourned.

Home Office minister Hazel Blears said the government was "disappointed".

And, when asked about the decision, the prime minister's official spokesman said that it was important each was treated as a stand alone case.

He added: "The prime minister's views are on the record about why we need to recognise that we do have different circumstances now."

It remains our view that these individuals represent a real risk to the national security of this country and should continue to be detained
Hazel Blears
Home Office minister

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Home Office had claimed that all 10 men were "dangerous", adding that the terror suspects posed a risk to national security.

The four men were granted bail pending the outcome of their appeals against detention under immigration laws.

Reacting to the decision , Ms Blears said: "We are disappointed that Siac has granted bail to some of those individuals currently detained pending deportation.

"We will press Siac to impose strict bail conditions although it remains our view that these individuals represent a real risk to the national security of this country and should continue to be detained."

The Home Office minister, who said the government remained "committed to seeking their deportation", added: "The outcome of this bail hearing is no indicator of the eventual outcome of the appeals".

During hearings in September, which preceded the latest judgments, the Home Office had argued that the men were involved in "creating the climate, the motivation and the opportunity that led to the events in July 2005".

Strict conditions

It was also argued that the men would resume their activities if released.

But Siac chairman Mr Justice Ouseley dismissed the arguments put forward by the Home Office.

"Siac does not consider that it should regard the incidents of July (the London bombings) as evidence of a greater national security risk posed by these applicants than before," he said.

He added that Siac also rejected the Home Secretary's suggestion that there should be a presumption against bail.

The four men have been bailed under strict conditions which effectively amount to virtual house arrest.

Mr Justice Ouseley said the key considerations in granting bail were whether the men would abscond and how they would react to the impending agreement between Britain and Algeria that would allow for their deportation.

The five whose applications for bail were refused bail along with Abu Qatada were K, P, Q and I.




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