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Sling your hook!! Abu Hamza loses extradition fight!


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Good riddance: Hook-handed Abu Hamza loses fight against extradition to U.S.


By Dan Newling

Last updated at 11:39 PM on 20th June 2008



article-0-01ADC2B700000578-87_233x318.jpg Facing extradition: Abu Hamza has lost his battle against being sent to the U.S. where he is accused of terror offences



Firebrand Islamic preacher Abu Hamza is finally being thrown out of Britain.

The High Court ruled yesterday that he cannot avoid facing trial in America, where he has been accused of 11 terror-related crimes.

Hamza, who has hooks for hands after being injured in an explosion in Afghanistan, will be put on a high-security U.S. Air Force flight in the next 42 days.

Some of the charges he faces carry the death penalty but he will not be executed under a deal reached by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to secure extradition.

Instead he faces a maximum 100 years in jail. Washington accuses him of:

• Being a member of a global conspiracy to wage jihad against the U.S.;

• Attempting to set up an Al Qaeda training camp in rural Oregon;

• Sending money and recruits to assist the Taliban in Afghanistan;

• Assisting an armed gang which abducted a party of tourists in Yemen in 1998. Four people, including three Britons, died in the ensuing gun battle.

Yesterday's uncompromising legal ruling brought to an end Hamza's long-running battle against extradition which is thought to have cost the taxpayer more than £1million.

Despite being presented with 'voluminous' paperwork by Hamza's legal team, judges Sir Igor Judge and Mr Justice Sullivan described the original decision to allow extradition as 'unassailable'.

They firmly rejected Hamza's claims that evidence in the U.S. case against him may have been obtained by torture and would therefore be inadmissible.

And they dismissed his protests that his human rights are likely to be breached by the American justice system.

Now aged 51, Hamza is serving a seven-year prison sentence for terror-related charges, included soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.

Hamza - whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa - was not in court yesterday. He now has 14 days in which to ask the High Court for leave to launch a last-ditch appeal to the House of Lords.

If - as seems likely - he does not win permission to appeal, he will be handed over to the Americans within six weeks and will probably be held in a so-called Supermax jail in Colorado.

Such jails keep prisoners 'locked down' for 23 hours in a 7ft by 12ft cell with no natural light.

Most inmates spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement and are allowed out of their cells for just an hour a day for exercise in a concrete chamber.

Inmates are not permitted to talk to one another and their only human interaction is with prison officers.

Prior to his arrest in 2004, the Egyptian-born cleric was the most recognisable face of Britain's violent Islamist movement. As an imam at London's Finsbury Park mosque he repeatedly called for Muslims to fight jihad against the West. He has subsequently been accused of being the July 7 bombers' spiritual inspiration.

Hamza moved to Britain in 1979 as an engineering student and became a citizen in 1986 after his first marriage to a British woman.

His Moroccan-born second wife is thought to have obtained citizenship via him and as such neither she nor any of the couple's children are affected by yesterday's ruling. They will be able to continue living in Britain.

Despite his condemnation of 'decadent' Western life, Hamza, his wife and eight children have claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds in state benefits.

He has also taken advantage of the right to buy his council home and built up hundreds of thousands of pounds of assets - money the courts are now attempting to recover. In 2004 Hamza became the first person to be arrested under a newly streamlined Anglo-American extradition treaty.

The extradition process was put on hold when he was charged with the crimes in this country - and during his drawn-out appeals against the subsequent convictions.

It was a House of Lords decision in January last year to refuse Hamza leave to make any further appeal that left the path clear for the extradition proceedings to continue.

The Home Secretary has agreed that the remainder of Hamza's UK sentence can be incorporated into any future U.S. sentence.

Last night Kim Beer, the mother of Phil Beer, who died in the King's Cross explosion on July 7 2005, welcomed the High Court's decision.

'Now I hope he gets the justice he deserves,' she said. 'With him gone, there will be one less person trying to poison people's minds here.'




  • £100,000 NHS treatment - mainly operations on his arms
  • £500,000 in state benefits. He has not worked since 1993. Wife and children live in five-bed house in West London and receive £680 a week in benefits
  • £1.1million legal aid. Costs soared when he launched appeals against conviction
  • £150,000 prison bill. His detention in Belmarsh has cost £38,000 a year since he was arrested in 2004
  • £50,000 citizenship fight

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