by Ray Fleming

A fter Theresa May's bold decision on Tuesday to re-form the troubled UK Border Agency the Home Secretary found herself yesterday blocked by a British law court in her determination to deport the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan to face trial on fifteen-year-old terrorism charges. A year ago she said, “We will soon put Al Qatada on a plane and out of the country for good” but three Appeal Court judges have unanimously ruled that she cannot do that because of the likelihood that evidence to be used against him in a trial in Jordan has been obtained by torture of other alleged terrorists.

This ruling confirmed the almost identical judgement of Britain's Special Immigration Appeal Commission which last November said that Al Qatada would face the risk of a “flagrant denial of justice” if deported to Jordan.

Mrs May is the sixth Home Secretary to try to deport Al Qatada but she may now have run out of options unless new information becomes available from Jordan whose authorities have already denied that torture has been used in the case against Al Qatada. It is worth noting that in this “human rights” issue it is British judges, not European judges in Strasbourg, who are handing down rulings that will be very unpopular with some sections of the UK media and also, it should be said, with many British people.