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Page last updated at 06:53 GMT, Thursday, 19 April 2012 07:53 UK

Qatada decision 'political not legal'

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Efforts to deport the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan have been thrown into doubt by a last-minute appeal lodged with The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) - although there is a row over whether the appeal was lodged in time to be valid.

Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, vice president of the Law Society and a human rights lawyer, told the Today programme's John Humphrys that the ECHR believes the government got the decision wrong.

The government insists that his lawyers missed a deadline to appeal but Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said that the procedure to appeal is well laid out and Abu Qatada's lawyers are perfectly within that procedure.

She went on to say that it "doesn't make huge difference in terms of rights because it would be going back before the courts" come what may.

When asked about why Qatada was taken back into custody now, she said that "I can only assume that the reasons are political, they don't seem to be legal".


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