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Abu Qatada cleared of terrorism charges

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 24,2014 - Last updated at Sep 24,2014

AMMAN—The State Security Court on Wednesday acquitted radical cleric Abu Qatada on terrorism charges to carry out attacks against westerners in Amman, his lawyer Musa Abdullat confirmed.

Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Othman, was announced innocent today from involvement in the so-called millennium bombings, a plot to carry out Al Qaeda-inspired attacks against Westerners across Amman in the late 1990s, the lawyer told The Jordan Times over the phone.

“There were no proofs that he was involved in plotting for such attacks. His detention was purely for political and ideological reasons,” Abdullat said, adding the cleric would be released later Wednesday.

In a decision earlier in June, the court cleared Othman of charges in a separate terrorism case in which the Bethlehem-born cleric was accused of masterminding a series of attempted bombings of Western diplomatic sites across Amman.

Othman had previously sought asylum in the UK, which deported the 51-year-old to Jordan in August 2013 as part of an extradition agreement concluded by Amman and London a month earlier.

The EU Human Rights Court had overruled Britain’s previous attempts to deport Othman to Jordan, raising questions over his ability to receive a fair trial and the possible admission of testimonies obtained through torture.

Othman, his family and defence team say the cleric has received no ill treatment while in Jordanian custody.


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