A radical Muslim cleric once called "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" was deported from Britain to Jordan on Sunday (July 7), ending years of government efforts to send him back home to face terrorism charges.
"Well I was very pleased that we were able to, finally able to achieve the deportation of Abu Qatada. As you say, Sophie, it has taken a long time. We need to look and we will be looking at the processes we go through here in the UK on such deportations and in the immigration bill later this year I'm going to be bringing forward some changes for example to the number of appeals that people can make, because I think most people were frustrated by how long it took, I was frustrated by how long it took, I know the Prime Minister was as well and we want to ensure that in the future, deportation can be done more quickly," said the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
She said she had received assurances that he would be treated properly in Jordan.
"Yes I am and if you just look back at the time that I have been dealing with this particular case, we did receive assurances from the Jordanian government. The European Court of Human Rights moved the goalposts, so we had to deal with that. We received further assurances, I myself went over to Jordan and we got further assurances from the Jordanian government and then last autumn the courts here in the UK noted this final issue about whether or not evidence, that it was alleged had been obtained by torture, would be used in the case against him and the treaty has been negotiated. I signed the treaty in March, it was ratified by both parliaments and fully came into force at the beginning of this month. Putting all that together... that does provide the assurance about how Abu Qatada will be treated," she said.