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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
Terror suspect wins control case
Scales of Justice
Mahmoud Abu Rideh threatened to commit suicide in court
A terror suspect has won a battle against a control order imposed by the Home Secretary to limit his movements.

The High Court overturned the control order against Palestinian Mahmoud Abu Rideh who had previously threatened to commit suicide in court.

Lawyers for Mr Rideh said the order imposed by the Home Secretary amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment.

The Home Office said it was disappointed but had already imposed a less restrictive order on the suspect.

Abu Rideh was born in Jordan to Palestinian refugee parents. He came to the UK in January 1995 and was recognised as a refugee.

Electronic tagging
Report to monitoring company
Home Office vets visitors
Limits on visits to others
Home search at any time
No internet access
One bank account
No cash transfer outside UK

However, in December 2001 he was detained under anti-terrorism laws after the then home secretary David Blunkett concluded he was "an active supporter of various international terrorist groups, including those with links to Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network".

Mr Rideh was specifically accused of fund raising.

After being held at Broadmoor secure hospital, he was granted bail in January 2005 because of his deteriorating mental health.

However, he was then made subject to a control order, introduced by the Home Office after the Law Lords overturned the detention without trial system for terrorism suspects.

Mr Rideh's control order includes a 12-hour home curfew, no internet access and a ban on visits from anyone who has not been approved by the Home Office.

But Mr Justice Beatson ruled the order should be quashed, saying "its cumulative effects in my judgment deprive [Mr Rideh] of liberty, and the secretary of state has no power to make such an order".

'Not surprised'

Home Secretary John Reid said he was not surprised by the ruling. Mr Rideh had been under the same restrictions as another suspect, E, whose control order had been earlier quashed by the same judge.

But he added: "I do not accept that these obligations amount to a deprivation of liberty and I am appealing against both judgements.

"To protect the public, I have made a new order against Mr Rideh. However, this is inevitably weaker than the original one, which means that not only is there an increased risk of him absconding but that it is also now more difficult for the police to supervise him and prevent him from re-engaging in terrorism-related activity."

In January this year, Mr Rideh threatened to commit suicide during the main hearing of his case. Mr Abu Rideh said: "I have no human rights in this country - do you want me to kill myself?"

Mr Rideh, who has attempted suicide in the past, said: "Kill me like they killed Saddam. See how many people Blair and Bush have killed."

He then pulled a packet from his pocket, saying he had a razor blade, and was led from court. Later it was said he did not have a blade.


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