HOME AFFAIRS – DEPORTATION OF TERRORISTS – 12 November 2012
Dr Julian Lewis: Do special circumstances apply in this case, or is a judgment of this sort sending a signal to any terrorist, on the run for crimes committed in any country that may not have a judicial system fully recognised as right up there with western standards, that they just have to make a beeline for the United Kingdom and they are safe, because nobody can deport them?
[The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): Judgments at the European Court have been making it harder to deport foreign nationals who are terrorist suspects or criminals, but I do not believe that this sends the message that my hon. Friend believes it does. There are some very particular aspects of this case. A trial in absentia took place regarding Abu Qatada, and evidence was allegedly obtained from mistreatment or torture, given by others in that trial in absentia. So there are particular aspects that would not read across to other cases, but that is precisely why I think it was right that we did not risk losing our deportation with assurances, which we could have, had we appealed to the European Court. There are other terror suspects whom we will be able to deport under our deportation with assurances that will not be affected by this judgment, but could have been affected by a judgment by the European Court to overturn those assurances.]