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Abu Qatada is acquitted of terrorism charges in Jordan

Controversial cleric Abu Qatada has been acquitted of terrorist related charges and is now a free man
A court in Jordan has ordered the "immediate release" of Abu Qatada after he was acquitted of terror charges (AFP)
A Jordanian court has acquitted controversial cleric Abu Qatada of terrorism charges on Wednesday.
The court ordered the "immediate release" of Palestinian-born Qatada who they found not guilty of conspiring to have tourists attacked in the run up to the millennium celebrations.
Qatada was deported from the UK last year after a long, drawn out legal battle by British ministers to have him sent to his home country.
Qatada's eight-year legal battle to avoid extradition to Jordan – which reportedly cost the UK taxpayer £1.7m – resulted in a diplomatic agreement between Britain and Jordan to send Qatada back to Jordan, on condition that evidence believed to have been obtained through torture could not be used in court.
Fifty-four year old Qatada has repeatedly denied the charges against him. 
Last June he was also found not guilty in relation to a 1998 bombing campaign.
Paradoxically there has been some suggestion that Abu Qatada may now be a useful ally to the Jordanian authorities who had been holding him, in the fight against the Islamic State. Abu Qatada is an influential Salafist preacher and has been very critical of the IS group and may help persuade young Jordanians, who may otherwise be tempted to join the ranks of IS, not to get involved with IS. 

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