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Britain ratifies treaty with Jordan intended to speed extradition of radical cleric Abu Qatada

Britain has ratified a treaty with Jordan that could speed the extradition of radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada.

The Home Office said Friday that a 21-day parliamentary scrutiny period for the treaty expired overnight.

Jordan's King Abdullah II endorsed the treaty earlier this week.

Several steps must unfold before the document comes into force, including an exchange of diplomatic notes between Britain and Jordan.

Britain has been trying for more than a decade to extradite the cleric, who was convicted in absentia over terrorist plots in Jordan. British courts have blocked the move, saying evidence gained by torture could be used against him at trial.

The treaty aims to guarantee that will not happen. Lawyers for Abu Qatada have said he will return to Jordan voluntarily if it is ratified.

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