EU gives Qatada £2,500 in compensation

By staff

The radical Islamic preacher undergoing deportation proceedings from Britain has been awarded £2,500 at Europe’s highest court over being held without charge.

Abu Qatada, whose appeal against his deportation to Jordan was overturned by the House of Lords yesterday, was detained for two years after the September 11th 2001 attacks.

In a ruling on ten other men, the European court of human rights ruled that the 48-year-old’s human rights had been breached and awarded him compensation.

The Court said: “The choice by the government and parliament of an immigration measure to address what was essentially a security issue had the result of failing adequately to address the problem, while imposing a disproportionate and discriminatory burden of indefinite detention on one group of suspected terrorists.”

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: “This decision will horrify most reasonable people in the UK.

“It shows just how incompetent the Government has been at managing the problem of preachers of hate and, frankly, it makes a mockery of the concept of human rights if we can’t protect ourselves against people who are out to destroy our society.”

But human rights campaigners welcomed the judgement saying it showed the illegality of detaining people without charge.

Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, said: “Of course the court of human rights has vindicated the Law Lords 2004 ruling that detention without trial was a bad policy that failed to address either fairness or security.

“£2 per day of unlawful detention is hardly hitting the jackpot. Whilst the damages will disappoint the detainees, they explode the myth of the human rights compensation culture.”

Qatada could yet appeal against his deportation if he takes his case to the continent.

He is due to be deported to face terrorism charges in his native Jordan.