1. ITV Report

Abu Hamza loses his US extradition battle

The European Court of Human Rights said radical preacher Abu Hamza could be extradited Photo: Dylan Martinez/REUTERS

Radical preacher Abu Hamza and four other British nationals can be extradited from the UK to America, The European Court of Human Rights ruled today.

The ruling stated that the five men would not be subjected to "ill treatment" in the US.

The court adjourned its decision on a sixth British national, Haroon Rashid Aswat, pending consideration of further complaints lodged by him.

It is believed the five men could appeal the decision to the Grand Chamber at The European Court of Human Rights.

Speaking to ITV News, the Home Secretary Theresa May said the Government would ensure the suspects were handed over quickly as possible. However, it could still take months.

The Muslim cleric Hamza is serving a seven-year sentence in maximum-security Belmarsh prison for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.

Abu Hamza leading prayers outside the north London Mosque in Finsbury, 2003. Credit: REUTERS/Toby Melville

The European Court of Human Rights halted extradition proceedings in July 2010, saying they needed time to consider arguments that Hamza could be exposed to possible life imprisonment without parole and solitary confinement in the US.

Egyptian-born Hamza is wanted in the US on 11 charges related to taking 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, promoting violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001 and conspiring to set up a jihad training camp in Oregon, America.

Babar Ahmad, a 36-year-old computer expert who has been in a UK prison without trial for nearly eight years, will also face extradition to the US.

He has been refused bail since his arrest in August 2004 on a US extradition warrant and is accused of providing support to terrorists and conspiracy to kill, maim or injure people and damage property in a foreign country.

Both Ahmad and Hamza appealed separately to the European court in Strasbourg on grounds that their treatment could violate Human Rights Convention Article 3 banning torture and "inhuman or degrading treatment".

Three other British nationals face being extradited to the US, they are:

  • Seyla Talha Ahsan
  • Adel Abdul Bary
  • Khaled Al-Fawwaz
  • The 53-year-old Muslim cleric was born in Alexandria, Egypt.
  • He studied civil engineering and in 1984 married a British woman, Valerie Fleming.
  • Throughout the 1980's he begun to turn towards fundamentalism and in 1990 he divorced his wife and returned to Egypt where he reinvented himself as a "holy man".
  • He travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan - where he claims he lost his hand fighting jihad - before returning to Finsbury Park Mosque, north London in 1996.
  • After the September 11 attacks in 2001 he said: "Many people will be happy, jumping up and down at this moment."
  • In 2006 he was jailed in the UK for seven years for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.

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