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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 February 2006, 10:23 GMT
Call over Hamza 'link' to kidnap
Abu Hamza
Abu Hamza was an imam at Finsbury Park mosque in London
A man whose wife died in a kidnapping in Yemen has urged the government to reveal possible links between the killers and radical cleric Abu Hamza.

Laurence Whitehouse and his wife Margaret were among a group of western tourists seized in December 1998.

Mr Whitehouse managed to overcome his guard and escape from his captors.

In a BBC interview, he called on Home Secretary Charles Clarke to reveal what the government knew about reported calls between the gang and Abu Hamza.

His wife Margaret died after she was used as a human shield by the kidnappers during a bungled rescue attempt by state troops.

There would seem to be so much detail about these conversations and who was talking to whom when
Laurence Whitehouse

Abu Hamza was jailed on Tuesday for inciting murder and racial hatred.

An Old Bailey jury found him guilty of 11 charges connected to statements he made while imam at Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

Mr Whitehouse said he wanted Home Secretary Charles Clarke to disclose evidence that linked Abu Hamza to the Yemen kidnaps.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I would like a specific conversation or talk or report from the Home Secretary about his version of the events and possibly some copy of the transcript of the telephone calls that were made.

"I would like to find out what the current view is and the state of play.

'Missing piece'

"There would seem to be so much detail about these conversations and who was talking to whom when, and there are quite a substantial number of issues arising from that."

Mr Whitehouse, who expressed his wish to find "the missing piece of the jigsaw", said it seemed "inconsistent" that the security services were allowed to bug conversations but could not then use the evidence in court.

After his conviction police said they had given evidence three times to the Crown Prosecution Service in the past before enough was presented for a prosecution.

Two of those submissions were in relation to potential offences committed in Yemen and a website, and the third relating to the offences he was eventually found guilty of.

Senior prosecutors who reviewed the submissions concluded in two cases "there was clearly insufficient evidence for a prosecution".

Watch Jeremy Paxman interview Abu Hamza



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