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"Bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" to be released on bail

(Xinhua)

10:01, February 07, 2012

LONDON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Radical preacher Abu Qatada, who was once known as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe", was granted bail in London on Monday and is expected to be released from prison next week.

Judge John Mitting ruled Qatada should be freed with stringent bail conditions at a hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

Qatada, who is accused of posing a grave threat to Britain's national security, appealed to be freed as he fights deportation to Jordan.

He will be confined to his home with two one-hour periods of outdoor activity a day, in the similar conditions set in 2008.

Mitting said it would take "between a few days and about a week" for the Security Service (MI5) to check the proposed bail address, which was not revealed by the court, before Qatada can be released.

The judge also ruled the Home Secretary Theresa May has three months to show progress is being made in negotiations with Jordan or restrictions on Qatada's liberty may not be acceptable any longer.

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