The British government has lost its appeal against an immigration tribunal’s decision allowing a radical Muslim cleric to remain in Britain.

Britain wants to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, where he was convicted in absentia for terror plots in 1999 and 2000.

Successive British governments have been trying since 2001 to remove Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman.

But the man described by prosecutors as a key al-Qaeda operative in Europe has successfully fought deportation in British and European courts.

The ruling on Wednesday was on a challenged by Home Secretary Theresa May to an immigration panel’s decision that argued there was a danger evidence obtained via torture could be used against Abu Qatada.

More In: World | International | News