Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 17:04 UK

Second terror suspect wins bail

Abu Qatada
Abu Qatada: Won bail application on Thursday

A tribunal has ruled a second counter-terrorism detainee, known only as "OO", should be released.

The wheelchair-using detainee is the second Jordanian national to have won a bail application after the courts said deportation could lead to torture.

On Thursday the Special Immigration Appeals Commission agreed to bail Abu Qatada, described previously as Osama bin Laden's ambassador in Europe.

Both men are still in jail while strict bail conditions are thrashed out.

The eventual conditions for both men are expected to amount to house arrest including a possible 22-hour curfew, restrictions on visitors and communications and even places of worship. Similar conditions are imposed on terrorism suspects who are on control orders.

Detainee OO is an imam who first came to the UK in the 1990s. His wife and their large family have all since become British citizens.

OO: Held in Belmarsh - but health declined

He was accused of being a member of a group using the name Jama'at al-Muslimeen. This group was allegedly linked to extremist activity in the UK and overseas.

Police arrested OO in January 2006 when the home secretary launched a bid to deport him, during which he was held at maximum security Belmarsh Prison.

His family say that since then his poor state of health, allegedly partly the result of torture in Jordan, has deteriorated since he has been in prison.

A judge previous ruled that he was a "seriously ill man" with a variety of conditions including Type 2 diabetes.

He was refused bail in April 2006 when Siac ruled the national security case against his activities over-rode the fact that he was unlikely to go on the run.

The next month he was rushed to hospital suffering a type of brain haemorrhage - although doctors were later divided over claims that he had lost his memory.

Court of Appeal

In April the Court of Appeal ruled against deporting Abu Qatada despite expectations from the lower courts that he would be leaving the country.

Siac had originally dismissed the preacher's appeal against deportation on the grounds that Jordan had signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the UK covering the treatment of suspects returned to their home country.

These agreements are designed to give reassurance that countries with poor human rights records will not torture or ill-treat anyone returned to their soil.

The appeal judges said Siac had misdirected itself in law over the issue of evidence obtained by torture in Jordan.

Profile: Abu Qatada
26 Feb 07 |  UK

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