The cost of keeping extreme Islamic cleric Abu Qatada under surveillance is understood to be costing the British taxpayer around £100,000 per week. These alarming costs have suddenly sprung to light as Theresa May personally flies out to Jordan in a bid to get him deported from the UK as soon as possible.
Mrs May is due to fly out to Jordan sometime next week with the intention of acquiring reassurances form Jordan officials that Qatada will not be subjected to torture in order to extract evidence from him in any trial he may face.
This latest revelation is likely to provoke further criticism of UK Immigration as much of the costs are as a result of having to protect Qatada himself as much as protecting the British public from him. What’s more concerning is that, even if Britain and Jordan manage to come to any form of agreement, Qatada could still remain in the UK if he opts to pursue a fresh legal case against any deal that is struck.
This outcome will obviously mean that the cost of continuing to watch Qatada will rise at the British Taxpayer’s expense, an outcome which is likely to infuriate the nation.
At present Qatada is monitored by around 60 police officers and he is subject to house arrest and a 22 hour curfew. He is not permitted access to phones or computers without first getting approval from officials monitoring his situation.
Qatada was released on bail last month (January) by a UK Immigration judge after the European Court of Human Rights ruled he cannot be deported to Jordan whilst there is the possibility that he could be subjected to torture in order to gather evidence against him on terrorism charges.
It is hoped that this entire saga can be brought to an end through Theresa May’s personal involvement when she visits Jordan next week. Her aim is to obtain firm assurances that Qatada will be given a fair trial in his homeland, where he faces charges of terrorism attacks in 1998 before fleeing to the UK.