London: A British court on Tuesday ordered the release on bail of a top Islamist radical leader, who was once described as ‘Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe".

Abu Qatada, the arrested radical cleric who was prevented from being deported to Jordan on grounds of human rights in January, was granted bail following a hearing at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Qatada, who was first arrested in 2002 and is currently held in Long Lartin jail after breaching his bail conditions, will now be released within a week.

The UK government had stated that Qatada was a risk to national security.

Justice Mitting on Tuesday said that Qatada had been detained for a long time pending deportation this was not illegal.

But, he said, the preacher should now be bailed because his deportation to Jordan had been blocked by the European Court of Human Rights.

Qatada, 51, who was once described as "Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe", has been convicted twice in Jordan in his absence for conspiracy to carry out bomb attacks on two hotels in Amman in 1998, and providing finance and advice for a series of bomb attacks in Jordan planned to coincide with the Millennium.

The cases were to be retried.

His deportation to Jordan was disallowed in January on the ground that if he were deported, then Jordan might use evidence obtained by torture.