European court rules homophobic cleric Abu Hamza can be extradited to US

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The European Court of Human Rights has said the anti-gay Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri may be extradited to the US on terrorism charges.

Abu Hamza al-Masri was convicted and jailed for seven years on charges of inciting murder and stirring up racial hatred in the UK in 2006 but is wanted in the US on terrorism charges.

His battle to avoid extradition through European human rights law has been lost after the court unanimously decided the length of his sentence and conditions he would be subject to in the US would not violate his rights, freeing the UK to hand him to American authorities.

The US alleged Abu Hamza was running a website that raised funds for Islamic extremism and tried to run a terrorist “training camp” in Oregon between 1998 and 2000.

The European Court of Human Rights said the preacher and four other men facing extradition orders could be sent to the US to face trial without violation of their human rights.

The US had given assurances that the cleric would not face the death penalty or military tribunals.

Abu Hamza had claimed that Zionists kept files on how politicians’ homosexuality in order to bribe them, and said AIDS had been sent as a curse on homosexuals. He said: “They have a common punishment amongst them and they have the virus to run after them wherever they go.”

Hamza said transgender people were cursed and when he found out a nurse who had been treating him for two years was gay, his lawyers lobbied the Prison Service for a straight replacement

Today, the court said: “The European court of human rights held, unanimously, that there would be: no violation of article three (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European convention on human rights as a result of conditions of detention at ADX Florence (a “supermax” prison in the US) – if Mr Ahmad, Mr Ahsan, Mr Abu Hamza, Mr Bary and Mr Al-Fawwaz were extradited to the USA; and, no violation of article three of the convention as a result of the length of their possible sentences.”

Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking from Asia, said: “I am very pleased with the news. It is quite right that we have proper legal processes, although sometimes one can get frustrated with how long they take.”

Today’s ruling is stayed pending any application to appeal to a Grand Chamber of judges in the next three months, which will issue a final decision.