The European rights court Wednesday said it was still opposed to Britain's bid to extradite Abu Qatada to Jordan after a lawyer for the Islamist cleric filed a fresh appeal.
London is locked in a new battle with the court after re-arresting the 51-year-old Abu Qatada on Tuesday.
Britain said it planned to deport the Jordanian cleric despite the court's ruling in January that he should not be sent to Jordan because evidence against him may have been obtained through torture.
"The lawyer for Abu Qatada filed an appeal on Tuesday," a spokesman for the European Court of Human Rights said, adding that the judges would "take a few weeks" to decide whether to accept it and that the court's earlier decision to block the bid would apply till then.
London said Abu Qatada would receive a fair trial if he was returned to face charges of involvement in terror attacks in his home country.
Abu Qatada was found guilty in absentia in 1998, but Jordan has promised to quash the conviction and give him a new hearing before civilian judges, with independent defence lawyers and the right to question witnesses, British Home Secretary Theresa May.
Britain's Home Office said Wednesday Abu Qatada's appeal was invalid, arguing that he had missed the deadline to object to January's ruling by one day, and said it would be writing to the European court to protest.
A spokeswoman for the ministry said: "Qatada has no right to refer the case to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, since the three-month deadline to do so lapsed at midnight on Monday night.
"His case should be heard in British courts, as the home secretary outlined to parliament yesterday. In the meantime, he remains in custody."
Source: AFP Global Edition