High Court approves Abu Hamza extradition
BRITAIN will seek to extradite Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the US as soon as possible after the one-eyed radical preacher failed yesterday in a last-ditch legal attempt to avoid deportation.
Washington accuses the Egyptian-born 54-year-old of supporting al-Qa'ida, aiding a kidnapping in Yemen and plotting to open a US training camp for militants. He also achieved notoriety for praising the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Judges at the High Court in London dismissed his request to delay the proceedings, clearing the way for his handover.
A crowd of about 100 people protested outside the court, shouting "Free Abu Hamza!" and holding banners reading "Stop extraditions" and "democracy = hypocrisy".
Abu Hamza, who could be sent to an ultra-secure prison with a sentence of more than 100 years, has argued he faces inhumane treatment in the US.
Yesterday's decision caps a long legal battle that saw Abu Hamza launch a new appeal at the High Court last week after the European Court of Human Rights rejected an earlier bid to avoid being sent to the States.
Abu Hamza was jailed for seven years in Britain and has been fighting extradition since 2004.