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GREAT BRITAIN: Hate preacher Abu Qatada ordered to remain in custody after arrest for breaching bail conditions

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The 52-year-old was led away in handcuffs from his North London home House raided by specialist counter terrorism officers on Thursday Released from jail in February last year under strict bail conditions Received over £500,000 in legal aid in ten-year battle with Government

Arrested: Abu Qatada has been arrested for allegedly breaching his bail conditions hours after his home was raided by counter-terror police

 

Radical preacher Abu Qatada must remain in custody following his arrest for allegedly breaching his bail conditions, a judge ruled today.

UK Border Agency officials arrested Qatada yesterday, days ahead of the Government's latest deportation bid in court, following raids by the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism unit.

Mr Justice Stephen Irwin, chairman of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), today refused to grant Qatada bail at a telephone hearing, a spokesman for the Judicial Office said.

The spokesman said: 'There was material before SIAC suggesting he had breached his bail conditions.

'There will be a further hearing in the matter on March 21, giving both sides the opportunity to submit more evidence in the matter.'

In his ruling, Mr Justice Irwin said there was 'strong prima facie evidence' that Qatada had breached a bail condition which prohibits him from having mobile telephones switched on in his house while he is present.

It also bans communications equipment such as digital media devices, re-writable CDs and pen drives being brought into his house.

Qatada will initially be held by the Metropolitan Police before returning to Belmarsh prison later today, the judge ordered.

Further consideration of bail will be brought before SIAC on Thursday March 21, he added.

A Home Office spokesman said: 'We are pleased the Special Immigration Appeals Commission has decided to revoke bail for this individual on an interim basis following serious breaches of his bail conditions.

'We will vigorously argue our case at the next hearing on March 21.'

Officers completed searches at four properties today in connection with ongoing inquiries by the Counter Terrorism Command but found no hazardous materials, Scotland Yard said.

No arrests have been made in connection with the police investigation.

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Police inspected the hate preacher's London home as the radical cleric was arrested for allegedly breaching his bail conditions

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Officers had completed their searches of all four properties today and no hazardous materials had been found

 

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Searches were carried out in connection with ongoing inquiries by the Counter Terrorism Command

THE EXTREME BAIL CONDITIONS OF THE HATE PREACHER

As part of the 25 conditions, Qatada has a 22-hour home curfew.

Banned from attending a mosque or leaving a small area near his house.

He is not allowed a mobile phone, internet connection or more than one bank account and only vetted visitors can visit his home.

Banned from publishing any statement, leading prayers other than for those in his own family
Cannot arrange to meet people outside his home without Home Office permission.

Qatada, who has been convicted of terror charges in Jordan, is due to appear at the Court of Appeal on Monday for Home Secretary Theresa May's bid to overturn a judge's decision to allow him to stay in the UK.

The arrest came after Qatada’s house had been raided by specialist officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command on Thursday.

Officers carried bags of evidence from the 52-year-old’s £450,000 North London home after a 12-hour search.

The Al Qaeda fanatic, once described as Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe, was released from jail in February 2012 on condition of abiding by some of the strictest bail restrictions possible under English law.

Qatada's arrest comes a few days before a Government appeal against the decision to allow the radical preacher to stay in the UK

Qatada's arrest comes a few days before a Government appeal against the decision to allow the radical preacher to stay in the UK (file picture)

Drain: Qatada has so far received more than £500,000 in legal aid in his decade-long legal battle against the Government, which wants to deport him to his native Jordan where he is wanted on charges of terrorism

Drain: Qatada has so far received more than £500,000 in legal aid in his decade-long legal battle against the Government, which wants to deport him to his native Jordan where he is wanted on charges of terrorism

He has so far received more than £500,000 in legal aid in his decade-long legal battle against the Government, which wants to deport him to his native Jordan where he is wanted on charges of terrorism.

Qatada was held in a high security prison for eight years but was released to live in a £1,400-a-month property - paid for with state handouts - while he fights his deportation on human rights grounds.

A Home Office spokesperson said last night: ‘The UK Border Agency arrested a 52-year-old man from north London for alleged breaches of his bail conditions imposed by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).’

A spokesman said: ‘The searches were carried out under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and are in connection with ongoing inquiries by the Counter Terrorism Command.’

Qatada’s arrest comes a few days before a Government appeal against the decision to allow the radical preacher to stay in the UK.

The 25 bail conditions imposed on Qatada include a 22-hour home curfew and a ban from attending a mosque or leaving a small area near his house.

He is not allowed a mobile phone, internet connection or more than one bank account and only vetted visitors can visit his home.

He is also banned from publishing any statement, leading prayers other than for those in his own family and cannot arrange to meet people outside his home without Home Office permission.

The bail conditions state that if he meets an acquaintance by chance, he must make his excuses and leave.