Jordan acquits preacher of 1 set of terror charges

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- A Jordanian military court has acquitted al-Qaida-linked preacher Abu Qatada of terror charges over a foiled 1999 plot to attack an American school in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

The court in Amman announced on Thursday that it found 53-year-old Abu Qatada innocent for lack of evidence against him.

Abu Qatada, who was deported from Britain last year to face trial in Jordan, had pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

Separately, the military court postponed its ruling on a second set of terrorism charges against the cleric, involving plots to attack Israelis, Americans and other Westerners in Jordan in 2000, and said it would deliver its verdict in that case in September.

In both cases, Abu Qatada was convicted in absentia years ago and sentenced to life in prison.


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