Jordan to begin trial of radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada Tuesday

A Jordanian military court official says the trial of a radical Muslim preacher deported from Britain to face terrorism charges will start Tuesday.

Prosecutors have charged the cleric, Abu Qatada, 53, with conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis, Americans and other Westerners in Jordan in two foiled plots in 1999 and 2000. In both cases, Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia years ago and sentenced to life in prison.

But with his return on July 7, those sentences have been suspended and he will receive a new trial.

The official said Sunday Abu Qatada will enter his plea in the opening hearing at Jordan's military State Security Court.

He spoke anonymously because he is not allowed to comment on a case to be heard in court.