Bin Laden's 'right-hand man' Abu Qatada could be free to walk streets of Britain in days
A radical Muslim cleric accused of posing a grave threat to Britain's national security could walk free in days, a tribunal has heard. Abu Qatada, once described as 'Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe', will be considered for bail at a hearing on February 6.
He is currently being held at Long Lartin high security prison as he fights deportation to Jordan.
The move comes as British diplomats are locked in discussions with the Jordanian authorities, seeking assurances that evidence gained through torture would not be used against him.
Qatada, 51, won an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights last week.
The judges ruled that sending Qatada back to face terror charges without assurances about evidence obtained by torture would deny him his right to a fair trial and be a 'flagrant denial of justice'.
Home Secretary Theresa May vowed to fight the move saying he would be kept behind bars while she considered all legal options to send him back.
A spokesman said: 'We will strongly resist any application to release Qatada on bail.
'We believe he poses a real risk to national security.'
But yesterday Qatada's defence team argued his continued detention was unlawful.
Also known as Omar Othman, he featured in hate sermons found on videos in the flat of one of the September 11 bombers.
Since 2001, when fears of the domestic terror threat rose in the aftermath of the attacks, he has challenged, and ultimately thwarted, every attempt by the Government to detain and deport him.