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article imageOp-Ed: Lib Justice Minister: 'Abu Qatada’s presence here is reassuring'

By Katerina Nikolas     Mar 12, 2013 in World
Liberal Democrat Justice Minister Lord McNally has proclaimed Britain's failure to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada is evidence the Human Rights Act is working.
Lord McNally, minister for Legal Aid in the Ministry of Justice, has praised Britain's failure to deport Abu Qatada despite government attempts, as an example that the Human Rights Act is working.
The Daily Mail reported the liberal said the legal protection afforded to Abu Qatada was "part of what makes us a civilised society."
Attempts to deport the much loathed Qatada have thus far cost the British taxpayer £500,000 in legal aid. Yet as the government presided over cuts in legal aid the BBC reported McNally said: "We have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world, and while it's a vital part of our justice system the resources available are not limitless. We have had to make tough choices about how to prioritise spending on those most in need." Obviously McNally considers Qatada, an illegal entrant to Britain whom Home Secretary Theresa May describes as “a dangerous man, a suspected terrorist, who is accused of serious crime in his home country of Jordan" as more worthy of British legal aid than the vulnerable who lost out in legal aid cuts defended by the liberal peer.
The Independent reported Qatada plans to sue the British government for £10 million over "extended mistreatment." McNally has not stated if he would support Qatada receiving tax payer funded legal aid to fight his case.
Tory MP Peter Bone declared McNally's comments on Qatada to be offensive, saying:
"He is completely wrong. It is quite extraordinary that we should have a justice minister who holds these views, which many people will find offensive. We should be putting Qatada on a plane tonight and worrying about the legal consequences later - that is what the vast majority of British people want us to do.
The only people supporting him are terrorists, rich barristers and the Liberal Democrats.The fact that we have a justice minister who holds these views just confirms my fears that we are in coalition with a bunch of clowns."
It is clear that the majority view in Britain supports the deportation of Qatada to Jordan where he faces terrorism charges. The British government is thwarted in its attempts to deport him by the Human Rights Act which was not originally designed to support the rights of criminals and terrorists. The British public would be far more reassured if Qatada was bundled on a plane back to Jordan and the government was left paying the subsequent fine imposed by the EU rather than Qatada's ever-increasing legal aid bill.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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