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Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Barton tweets 'did not amount to risk'

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The government has decided not to take legal action against footballer Joey Barton who said last week that he would "be a martyr" over contempt and publish his views on John Terry's alleged racism.

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General, says he does not believe Joey Barton's tweets held any risk of contempt of court.

It is a matter of common sense, he explains, if people broadcast or publish material which is prejudicial it can create a risk, "mere unpleasantness" doesn't meet that test.

And, commenting on the decision to release the radical Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, on bail, Mr Grieve said the government had to operate within the law and there was no law in Britain which allowed people to be held in custody indefinitely.

He said the government had to show that if Abu Qatada was placed on trial in Jordan, the case against him wouldn't be based on evidence that had been gained through torture.

"The government is obviously concerned about this case," he commented. "[It] very much wishes to see Abu Qatada deported to Jordan and when he's in Jordan tried fairly if the Jordanian authorities wish to put him on trial. He cannot be deported unless the assurances which are required following the judgement in the European Court of Human Rights can be secured."


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