Jordanian court acquits cleric Abu Qatada of conspiracy
Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 01:27
Jordan's state security court acquits radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, but the cleric remains behind bars on separate charges. Vanessa Johnston reports.
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Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada arrives at the Jordan state security court Thursday.
Qatada, who was extradited from Britain last year, is acquitted of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism.
The court cited a lack of sufficient evidence.
Abu Qatada's family was delighted by the verdict, but his sister expressed concern about his second case.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU QATADA'S SISTER, SAYING:
"I only hoped he was returning home with us today."
The cleric remains behind bars on separate charges, related to a plot to attack tourists during Jordan's New Year celebrations in 2000.
Qatada's lawyer hopes Thursday's verdict is a good sign.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ABU QATADA'S LAWYER, GHAZI THUNEIBAT, SAYING:
"This is something we are proud of, and we hope that this is counted positively for the Jordanian court system and we hope that this continues, and that truth and justice will always be present in all our court verdicts. Thank God for the innocent verdict."
Abu Qatada was in and out of jail in Britain since first being arrested in 2001.
Jordanian security officials and experts say his ideological writings have influenced many youths involved with al Qaeda.
A hearing on the New Year plot charges is scheduled for September.
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