Abu Hamza faces extradition to US as Britain's High Court dismisses appeal

Islamist cleric, five other terror suspects face deportation to US after losing appeals

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 3:37am


Britain said it would seek to extradite Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the United States as soon as possible after the one-eyed radical preacher yesterday failed in a last-ditch legal attempt to avoid deportation.

Two senior judges at the High Court in London dismissed a plea by the Egyptian-born 54-year-old former imam to be allowed a stay of extradition so medical tests could be carried out to assess his fitness to face trial.

Requests for injunctions from fellow terror suspects Khaled al-Fawwaz, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Babar Ahmad were also denied.

Judge John Thomas said: "The applications by all five claimants must be dismissed. It follows that their extradition to [the US] may proceed immediately."

The European Court of Human Rights ruled last month that all five men could be extradited, but the High Court ordered the government to halt their removal while it heard their final appeals.

The government dismissed the appeals as delaying tactics.

They are now set to be flown out of Britain to be detained at the ADX Florence super-maximum-security jail in Colorado.

Lawyers for Abu Hamza, who has been indicted in the US on charges including setting up an al-Qaeda-style training camp for militants in Oregon, argued that he should not be extradited because he needs a brain scan.

A crowd of about 100 protesters demonstrated outside the court, shouting "Free Abu Hamza" and holding banners reading "Stop extraditions" and "democracy = hypocrisy."