Page last updated at 23:46 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 00:46 UK

Abu Hamza extradition is delayed

Abu Hamza
Abu Hamza is accused of helping to set up terrorist training camps

The European Court of Human Rights has asked Britain to delay the extradition of the radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza to the US.

US prosecutors want the 50-year-old to face trial on charges which include providing support to al-Qaeda.

He appealed to Strasbourg when British courts rejected his appeal against being sent to the US and the European Court wants to consider the case.

The Home Office has confirmed that it would follow the court's request.

The radical preacher filed an appeal with Europe's highest human rights court complaining that if extradited, he could be exposed to torture or inhumane treatment in the US.

The court, sitting in Strasbourg, France, said that it had asked Britain not to extradite Abu Hamza until it has given due consideration to the matter.

Lawyers representing Abu Hamza, from west London, have been fighting his extradition since the request was first filed in May 2004.

US prosecutors have outlined 11 charges, alleging he funded terrorism, organised a training camp in Oregon between 1998 and 2000, and conspired to take 12 Westerners hostage in Yemen in 1998.

The extradition process was put on hold after Abu Hamza was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers in 2004.

In February 2006, an Old Bailey jury found him guilty of charges related to speeches at Finsbury Park Mosque in north London and he qwas sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

Extradition proceedings began again in May 2007 and a district judge later approved the request by US prosecutors.


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