Hate preacher Abu Hamza must be 'extradited to U.S. immediately'
Hamza accused of kidnapping hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan
Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has lost his battle to stay in the United Kingdom and was put on a plane headed for the United States. Judges had thrown out his last-ditch bid to stay in the U.K. Described as an Islamist fanatic lost the last of his countless appeals. The longtime legal fracas has taken eight long years at a cost of millions of pounds to U.K. taxpayers.
Once in the U.S, Abu Hamza will face 11 counts of criminal conduct related to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001 and conspiring to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon, between June 2000 and December 2001.
Hamza's lawyers had gone back to court again to claim he was unfit to stand trial. The move was condemned as a blatant delaying tactic. "Harsh" conditions in his cell at HMP Belmarsh had left him unwell, sleep-deprived and depressed. His lawyers demanded an MRI scan.
A judge at the High Court in London yesterday said he was "wholly unpersuaded" by their claims, adding: "The sooner he is put on trial, the better."
Sir John Thomas, President of the Queen's Bench Division, rejected the idea that Hamza was unfit to plead. If depressed, Thomas said, Hamza could get anti-depressants in the U.S.
Thomas also criticized delays in the extradition process, saying it was "unacceptable" that the case should have taken so long, and warning of "real dangers" of a system that allows repeated appeals on issues that had already been decided.
On Hamza arrives in the U.S., the hate preacher, who once described the U.K. as a "toilet" will be held in custody in New York and then put on trial.
He is expected to be transferred to the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan. Previous terror suspects held there have been kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.
The 54-year-old Hamza, who is both missing his right hand and an eye, has celebrated the September 11 terror attacks, preached jihad to a young congregation and landed the British taxpayer with a bill running into millions of pounds for his detention and legal costs.
Once in the U.S, Hamza will face 11 counts of criminal conduct related to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001 and conspiring to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon, between June 2000 and December 2001.
If found guilty, Hamza is likely to die behind bars.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Abu Hamza, extradition, preacher, courts, United Kingdom
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