The shocking news that Tory Home Secretary Theresa May has lost her appeal against a court ruling preventing the long overdue deportation of Muslim preacher Abu Qatada serves to illustrate the extent to which we have lost control over our national affairs through our membership of the EU.
She acted after the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that the radical cleric could not be returned to Jordan.
According to the Judges Qatada could face an unfair trial if returned to his native land as the authorities there could use “evidence” obtained through torture to convict him – quite why that is our concern remains something of a mystery.
Theresa May, the latest in a lengthening list of Home Secretaries, resorted to the courts after the Special Immigration Appeals Commission said the radical cleric could not be deported.
In a response that lacked any sense of real conviction a spokesman for the Home Office said it would further appeal, adding: “This is not the end of the road. The government remains determined to deport Abu Qatada.”
The spokesman went on to say: “In the meantime we continue to work with the Jordanians to address the outstanding legal issues preventing deportation.”
In their judgement, Lord Dyson, sitting with Lord Justice Richards and Lord Justice Elias, made the critical point that the appeals commission “was entitled to think there was a risk the impugned statements” would be admitted in evidence at a retrial. In other words there was a real danger of a “flagrant denial of justice”.
Tellingly, although the judges said they accepted the view that Qatada is “regarded as a very dangerous person” they stressed that under EU human rights legislation such an opinion was not a view that could take into consideration.
Following the judgement Qatada was returned to prison in the expectation that his publicly funded legal team will lodge a bail application with the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.
No fewer than six home secretaries have been involved in the legal battle to remove Qatada from this country – an unsuccessful process that has so far cost the British taxpayer millions of pounds – money that could have been used much more productively elsewhere.
It is now, according to legal experts, very difficult to see where Theresa May can go from here.
A further aspect of the insanity that surrounds this case is that the preacher can’t be detained under immigration law because there’s no realistic chance he is going to be deported anytime soon. This means, from a legal process perspective, that if the home secretary wants to get rid of Qatada then she will have to start all over again in trying to convince judges that the factors preventing his deportation have changed and that the Jordanians will, indeed, give him a fair trial.
In response taxpayer funded lawyers acting for Qatada told the court that Britain should not send someone back to a country with a “dubious human rights record”.
Labour’s Shadow home secretary commented: “This is an extremely serious and disappointing judgment which rips apart Theresa May’s strategy for deporting Abu Qatada and contradicts her repeated assurances to Parliament that her approach would get him swiftly on to a plane.” – pretty rich considering the role played by her party in introducing the very human rights legislation that is currently at the root of the problem.
In the “good old days” – before the imposition of the EU’s ludicrous human rights legislation, the courts in this country were free to act in the best interests of this country, meaning that the likes of Qatada would have received a free one way ticket back to his land of origin many years ago.
Just one more reason why Britain must quit the EU madhouse.