News In Focus
Abu Hamza loses final Strasbourg extradition battle
25 September 2012
Islamic cleric Abu Hamza and four other terrorism suspects are set to be deported to the United States within weeks after losing the final round of their legal battle to prevent their extradition there.
A panel of judges at the European Court of Human Rights yesterday refused the men a hearing before the Grand Chamber of the court to review an earlier chamber decision that it would not infringe their human rights to send them to the US for trial.
The five had argued that their rights under article 3 of the Convention (prevention or torture or inhuman or degrading treatment) were at risk due to conditions at the maximum security prison where they would be held, and the possibility of their receiving extremely long sentences without the prospect of parole.
The alleged offences for which they are wanted date back to the 1990s and include conspiracy to set up a secret terrorist training camp in Oregon.
Abu Hamza and co-accused Babar Ahmad have been in custody since 2004 while legal challenges continued, and Syed Talha Ahsan since 2006; but the other two detainees, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz, are the longest to be held without trial in the UK, having been held since 1998.
Attempts are being made to bring a private prosecution against Ahmad in the UK in order to prevent his extradition, but it is not thought likely to halt the process.