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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 14:45 GMT
Abu Hamza loses race-hate appeal
Abu Hamza
The cleric was jailed for seven years after an Old Bailey trial
Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has lost his appeal against convictions for soliciting to murder and race-hate offences.

The London-based cleric, 48, was jailed for seven years in February following a trial at the Old Bailey.

His lawyers had argued the case was prejudiced by "unique" world events and a media hate-campaign.

Abu Hamza's trial defence was funded by Legal Aid and officials say they will now seek to recover some of the costs.

Hearings are to be held after an investigation by the Legal Services Commission amid claims that Abu Hamza purchased a 220,000 property in Greenford, west London, while in jail.

'Recruiting sergeant'

Abu Hamza was not present for the ruling.

His lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald QC, had told the Appeal court it was "unfair" to put him on trial for speeches made as far back as 1997 which attracted no police action at the time.

Guilty of 6 charges of soliciting to murder
Guilty of 3 charges related to "stirring up racial hatred"
Guilty of 1 charge of owning recordings related to "stirring up racial hatred"
Guilty of 1 charge of possessing "terrorist encyclopaedia"
Not guilty of 3 charges of soliciting to murder
Not guilty of 1 charge related to "stirring up racial hatred"

Events such as the September 2001 attacks on the US and the July 2005 bombings in London were said to have lessened the chances of a fair trial.

And Mr Fitzgerald argued that the legislation used to convict him should only apply to those who incite UK citizens to kill.

Dismissing the case, Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said: "There is no reason to believe that the jury were not able to consider and resolve the relevant issues objectively and impartially."

During his original trial, the prosecution described Abu Hamza as a recruiting sergeant for global terrorism.

More than 3,000 audio cassettes and 600 videos of speeches intended for wider distribution were found after his arrest.

US authorities are seeking the Egyptian-born cleric's extradition on terror-related matters.

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