Keir Starmer helped Osama bin Laden’s ‘ambassador’ fight deportation while hate preacher was wanted on terror charges | The Sun

SIR Keir Starmer has come under fire for representing an extremist hate preacher in court before taking the helm of the Labour Party.

Abu Qatada, known as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe, found himself under Sir Keir's legal wing at a hearing back in 2008, according to The Telegraph.

This followed a decade-long tug-of-war between British authorities and Qatada's extradition to Jordan, where he faced terrorism charges.

The Labour leader was at the time a leading barrister and only one of a number of human rights lawyers who represented Qatada.

The Telegraph says Sir Keir acted for Qatada at a Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) hearing in June 2008, guided by human rights law firm Birnberg Peirce.

It came after then-Home Secretary Charles Clarke had ordered Qatada's deportation, igniting years of legal fireworks.

It was former Prime Minister Theresa May who finally managed to send Qatada packing back to Jordan in 2013.

In a 2006 court hearing, Sir Keir also reportedly argued that certain legal proceedings involving Qatada should be made public and that Qatada's civil rights, including access to state benefits, were protected under English law.

But Mr Justice Mitting disagreed, stating that one part of Sir Keir's argument was incorrect.

Sir Keir also apparently contended that Qatada shouldn't be held in jail during ongoing deportation proceedings.

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Qatada, originally from Jordan, became known in the UK for his extreme Islamic teachings.



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He arrived in the UK in 1994 and was later arrested for suspected terrorist links.

He faced legal issues over his radical speeches and publications, which included justifying violence against certain groups.

Qatada was once dubbed Osama bin Laden's spiritual ambassador to Europe and described as a "truly dangerous individual".

After finally being deported to Jordan in 2013, he was acquitted in court and continued to be active in sharing his views​​​​​​​​.

The total cost to theUK taxpayer of the long-running case wasreported to be£1.7 million. 

The Labour leader spokesman told The Telegraph:“Keir Starmer was the country’s most senior prosecutor, serving under Labour and Tory governments.

"During this time, he oversaw the first-ever prosecution of al-Qaeda terrorists, the jailing of the airline liquid bomb plotters and racist murderers of Stephen Lawrence. With his leadership, charge and conviction rates for sexual offences rose, victims were better supported, and the Crown Prosecution Service was positively reformed.

“Of course, as a lawyer he has had to represent people whose views he doesn’t agree with – that’s what the job of a lawyer involves.

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"These are simply desperate attacks from a Tory party that has given up on running the country.”

Thereport comes on the day the Labour leader is visiting soldiers stationed in Estonia to stress his party’s commitment to NATO.

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