Qatada could be 'free within weeks'
Abu Qatada could be "free within weeks", the British judge at the centre of his deportation case has warned.
Mr Justice Witting said he would be forced to consider granting the alleged terrorist bail if it becomes "obvious after two or three weeks that deportation is not imminent".
Yvette Cooper described the development as “shocking” and said the dispute over Mr Qatada’s appeal deadline was to blame.
In a statement the Shadow Home Secretary said: “Theresa May has told us herself how dangerous she believes this man to be, yet now her own shambles could be what gets him out of jail. The job of the Home Secretary is to keep the public safe, not take risks with national security.”
Home Secretary Theresa May has promised to "resist vigorously" any application for Mr Qatada to be released on bail, a move which many suspect will lead to a collapse in the case to deport him.
Justice Secretary Ken Clarke claimed historic reforms to the European Court of Human Rights at the Council of Europe Conference in Brighton that should prevent circumstances similar to that of Abu Qatada occuring in the future.
“Taken together, these changes should mean fewer cases being considered by the court. Those that it considers should be allegations of serious violations or major points of interpretation of the Convention and will be processed without the scandalous delays we are seeing at present."
The International Development Minister Alan Duncan told the BBC's Any Question programme it was "unfair" and "unprincipled" to blame Theresa May for the delays.
“You cannot blame the Home Secretary for following absolutely to the letter the exact words of the letter she received.”