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European Court clears extradition of UK radical cleric to US

Abu Hamza was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment after being convicted in 2006 of inciting hatred.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: April 10, 2012 4:33:36 pm

A radical cleric described as the face of violent extremism in Britain has been ordered by a court today to be extradited to the United States where he is alleged to have plotted to set up a terrorism training camp.

Abu Hamza,who controlled the Finsbury mosque in London,was sentenced to seven years imprisonment after being convicted in 2006 of inciting hatred. He is also charged with offences relating to hostage taking in Yemen and an alleged

plot to set-up a terrorism training camp in the United States.

Hamza was cleared for extradition by the European Court of Human Rights to the US along with four other suspects,Babar Ahmad,Talha Ahsan,Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled-al-Fawwaz.

The European court judges said they would consider further the case of another suspect,Haroon Aswat,because of mental health issues.

The Strasbourg-based court held that there would be no violation of human rights for those facing life and solitary confinement in the ADX Supermax prison in Florence,Colorado,known as the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

Prime Minister David Cameron,who supported recent efforts to tighten rules to prevent terror suspects from using human rights legislation to avoid extradition,said he was — very pleased — with the ruling.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I welcome the decision of the European Court of Human Rights to allow the extradition of Abu Hamza and other terror suspects.”

“In five of the six cases,the Court found that extradition would not breach their human rights and in the remaining case,it asked for further information before taking a final decision.

I will work to ensure that the suspects are handed over to the US authorities as quickly as possible,” May said.

Earlier Labour government wanted Hamza sent to the US before his jail term had been completed,but the extradition was halted after his lawyers challenged his handing over to the US in the European court.

The five men cleared for extradition have the right to appeal to the grand chamber of the European court and have three months to make an application,but such appeals are rarely successful.

In the Hamza case,the US gave written assurances that it will not impose the death penalty.

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