Radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada (C) hugs his family members after his release from a prison near Amman September 24, 2014 (Reuters / Muhammad Hamed)
The radical Muslim preacher Abu Qatada has been acquitted of terrorism charges by a Jordanian court. Qatada, who was accused of being involved in the planned “Millennium plot” terror attacks, was released from prison just hours after the verdict.
When the judge issued his ruling, Qatada started weeping, the Telegraph reported.
Qatada’s family members in the court also sobbed, hugged each other and cried out, “God is great!”
The court in Amman ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict Abu Qatada on Wednesday.
A civilian panel of judges in Amman said they chose not to take evidence presented against Abu Qatada in the Millennium conspiracy case into consideration, as it may have been obtained under torture.
His defence lawyer, Husein Mubaidin, said he expected his client to walk free within hours, the Guardian reported.
“I have a right to defend myself and this is my chance. I am innocent,” Abu Qatada told the judge.“You know this case is fabricated. I am not guilty.”
In 2000, Abu Qatada was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia for plotting to carry out terror attacks on American and Israeli tourists and Western diplomats during millennium celebrations in Jordan – the so-called “Millennium plot.”
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