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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006, 11:47 GMT
Briton facing extradition to US
Haroon Rashid Aswat
Mr Aswat has denied the charges levelled against him
A British terror suspect can be extradited to the US, a judge at Bow Street Magistrates court has ruled.

US authorities say Haroon Rashid Aswat, 31, tried to set up a camp in Oregon between 1999 and 2000 to train people to fight in Afghanistan.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has up to two months to approve the extradition of Mr Aswat, of Dewsbury, Yorkshire.

Mr Aswat, who denies the charges, was deported from Zambia in August after he was arrested and held in Lusaka jail.

Mr Aswat's lawyers said that the terror suspect would appeal against the decision by District Judge Timothy Workman.

Outside the court Gareth Peirce, the suspect's lawyer, described the case as "outrageous".

She added that "the judge here and the court here is bound by the process, which has been set up by the home secretary here which is not protecting British citizens - not protecting them in any way."

Diplomatic note

Last month the court heard that the terror suspect could go to Guantanamo Bay if extradited.

And a US legal expert had told the court that there was an "overwhelming risk" of the Briton being subjected to special measures such as solitary confinement.

However, Mr Workman said the court had received a diplomatic note from the US Embassy in London last month.

The note gave assurances that Mr Aswat would be "prosecuted before a federal court in accordance with the full panoply of rights and protections that would otherwise be provided to a defendant facing similar charges".

What he fears is the process he faces in the United States - he will be exercising his right to appeal to the High Court
Paul Bowen

And it said that the Briton would not be prosecuted by a military commission or treated as an enemy combatant.

Mr Workman said: "Whilst the note does not provide any personal protection to this defendant I am satisfied that it does bind the government of the United States of America which in these terms includes the president."

The judge also rejected claims that evidence against Mr Aswat came from an al-Qaeda suspect and had been obtained by the threat of inhuman treatment against that suspect.

Mr Workman said the issue of whether that evidence was admissible or not was for a trial court in the United States to decide

The US authorities have accused Mr Aswat of conspiracy to provide material support for terrorism in the US between 1999 and 2000.

They claim he and another man helped to set up a camp in Bly, Oregon, to train people to "fight jihad" in Afghanistan.

'Nothing to fear'

Mr Aswat denies any involvement with terrorism.

His barrister, Paul Bowen, said his client had asked him to say a few words to the court.

"He wants to say that he is an innocent man, that he has nothing to hide and nothing to fear from a trial itself," said Mr Bowen.

"What he fears is the process he faces in the United States. He will be exercising his right to appeal to the high court."

Another man, 38-year-old James Ujaama, pleaded guilty to involvement in a plot in April 2003 and was sentenced to two years in jail after agreeing to help the authorities.


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