AMMAN (AFP) – A military court on Wednesday postponed until next week a bail application by Islamist cleric Abu Qatada, who faces terror charges in Jordan following his deportation from Britain, his lawyer said.
"The state security court today postponed until next week its decision to look into my request to release Abu Qatada on bail," Taysir Diab told AFP.
"It said it needs to examine the case further. It did not set an exact date for the decision."
Abu Qatada, 53, was charged on Sunday with "conspiracy to carry out terrorist acts," just hours after his deportation from Britain. He pleaded not guilty.
He has been remanded for 15 days in the Muwaqqar prison, a maximum security facility built in 2007 that houses 1,100 inmates, most of them Islamists convicted of terrorism offences.
Abu Qatada was condemned to death in absentia in 1999 for conspiracy to carry out terror attacks, including on the American school in Amman, but the sentence was immediately commuted to life imprisonment with hard labour.
In 2000, he was sentenced in his absence to 15 years for plotting to carry out terror attacks on tourists in Jordan during millennium celebrations.
He has the right to a retrial with himself present in the dock under Jordanian law.
Britain's expulsion of the Palestinian-born preacher came after Amman and London last month ratified a treaty, guaranteeing that evidence obtained by torture would not be used in his retrial.
His wife and five children are planning to move to Amman from London, a family friend told AFP on Tuesday.