Terror suspect pours scorn on 'rubbish' £3,000 EU payout for unlawful Belmarsh detention


'Rubbish money': Fanatic Abu Rideh has complained about the size of his payout for being unlawfully detained

A terror suspect awarded thousands of pounds of UK taxpayers' cash by human rights judges in Strasbourg has complained bitterly that the size of his payout was 'rubbish'.

Fanatical Abu Rideh was one of nine terror suspects - including hate cleric Abu Qatada - awarded handouts worth tens of thousands by the European Court of Human Rights for being unlawfully detained in Belmarsh prison.

But the Palestinian fanatic, who is linked to hook-handed preacher Abu Hamza and once threatened to kill himself in front of a judge, said: 'This is nothing. What is £3,000? This is not money.'

The extremist, a father of five who lives in west London after being granted UK asylum, continued: ''You put people locked up for three-and-a-half years with no trial and no charge with torture in Belmarsh and with everything.

'And you give them this money?  This is rubbish money. I don't want this money - give it back.'

Rideh's remarks came amid huge controversy over the court's decision to pay compensation and costs totalling almost £75,000 to the fanatics, who were detained without trial in Belmarsh in the direct aftermath of September 11.

Qatada, known as Osama bin Laden's Ambassador in Europe, received a cheque for £2,500 only 24 hours after the Law Lords ruled he should be deported to his native Jordan, where he faces terrorism charges.


Compensation: Abu Qatada was one of nine terror suspects awarded handouts worth tens of thousands by the European Court of Human Rights

The European court accepted that the UK Government had locked up the international terror suspects - who were free to leave jail at any time, provided they left the country - at a time when there was a 'public emergency threatening the life of the nation'.

But the judges still ruled that detaining the men - who could not be forcibly deported in case they were ill-treated in their homeland -  had breached their human rights.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said she was 'very disappointed' with the ruling, which was predicted in today's Mail.

Shadow home secretary Chris Grayling said: 'This decision will horrify most reasonable people in the UK.

'It shows just how incompetent the Government has been at managing the problem of preachers of hate and, frankly, it makes a mockery of the concept of human rights if we can't protect ourselves against people who are out to destroy our society.'

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said of Qatada: 'This man hates everything Britain stands for, so it is disgusting that ordinary taxpayers are now forced to pay him thousands of pounds.

'We should have slung him out years ago as soon as his outrageous views became clear. By hobbling the legal system with the Human Rights Act and the supremacy of the European Court, our politicians have endangered the country and wasted huge amounts of taxpayers' money.'

The verdict came only a day after the Lords overturned a human rights ruling that Qatada could not be deported to Jordan.

He immediately appealed to Europe, and is likely to remain in the UK for years, adding to the £1.5m he has already cost the taxpayer in prison, legal and benefit costs for his wife and five children.



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Human rights layers claimed the fine print of the compensation case could pave the way for an appeal in the UK courts, and his possible release on bail.

Qatada was returned to Belmarsh high security prison last year after an immigration tribunal ruled there was a risk of him breaching the terms of his bail.

But that decision, by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac), was based largely on evidence held in secret. The Strasbourg court ruled Siac hearings which relied on secret evidence were in breach of terror suspects' human rights. 

Lawyers could use this is a grounds for an appeal, the campaign group Justice suggested.

Qatada, six Algerians, Rideh, and a Tunisian man were given sums of up to £3,400 by the court. A Moroccan and a Frenchman, who left the country voluntarily after their arrest, were not awarded any compensation. Qatada may have to wait to get his hands on the money, as his assets are currently frozen.

Rideh, 38, who is suspected of having links to Al Qaeda, threatened to kill himself in court two years ago,  He shouted 'Kill me like they killed Saddam. Do you want me to kill myself?'

He brandished a packet and told Judge Jack Beatson at the High Court in London 'I have a razor' before his psychiatrist led him out. Rideh came to Britain in 1995 and was arrested in 2001, suspected of arranging cash for terrorists linked to Al Qaeda, which he denies.

The Home Office rejected Rideh's claim that he had been mistreated in Belmarsh. A spokesman said: 'The Government strongly rejects this accusation and all claims that the applicants' detention involved inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment were dismissed in today's judgment.'