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May poised to make Qatada statement
Home Secretary Theresa May is due to give details of the Government's bid to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada.
Europe's human rights judges have ruled he cannot be deported to Jordan without assurances that evidence gained through torture will not be used in his upcoming terror trial.
Mrs May will address MPs as the deadline for any appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights passes at midnight.
She is not expected to appeal as the Home Office has been working to secure a deal with the Jordanian government in which it would give guarantees that torture evidence would not be used. But any move to deport him with these assurances is likely to be challenged in court by Qatada's legal team.
Qatada was released from Long Lartin high-security jail in Evesham, Worcestershire, on February 13 after applying for bail following the ECHR ruling. The Strasbourg-based court found that sending Qatada, 51, back without such assurances would be a "flagrant denial of justice".
In her bid to deport Qatada, the Home Secretary must also show a judge she has made progress in the case by the beginning of next month or risk Qatada being freed from his stringent bail conditions. The Home Office has said it is making "good progress" in talks aimed at getting the necessary assurances.
"We are confident that, when a deal is done, we will have the assurances we need to resume the deportation process which will see Qatada put on a plane," a spokesman said. "In the meantime, it would anyway be impossible to resume the deportation before April 17 because a legal injunction prohibits us from doing so."
But on Monday, Labour accused the Government of allowing "too much drift and delay" in the case. Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper called for Mrs May to explain the steps she was taking to deport the cleric who was described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe.
"The Home Secretary needs to explain urgently to Parliament what she is doing to get Abu Qatada deported, and to make sure there are strong enough safeguards to protect public safety in the meantime," Ms Cooper said. "The Home Secretary should have acted sooner in preventing the release of Qatada in the first place."
Her comments come after Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, claimed that Jordanian officials have given the Government "all the assurances it needs" to deport Qatada.