UK al-Qaida suspect boycotts hearing

A Muslim cleric named by Britain as the inspiration for the lead 11 September hijacker has boycotted the first day of his appeal against his detention without trial.

    Government lawyers accuse cleric of financing 'terrorists'

    Abu Qutada, Britain’s highest profile “terror” suspect, did not appear before a tribunal on Wednesday. He has been accused of funding and inspiring alleged fighters worldwide from a base in London.

    He was arrested in October 2002 after disappearing in the weeks after the 11 September, 2001 attacks.

    “(Abu Qutada) is a spiritual adviser to terrorist groups and Islamic extremists in the UK and overseas,” said government lawyer Wyn Williams.

    In papers issued at the hearing, the government said Abu Qutada was directly linked to top al-Qaida figures and alleged he inspired attacks in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Chechnya.

    Rights groups critical

    It said videos of the cleric’s sermons were found in the Hamburg flat of Muhammad Atta, who US officials accuse of leading the al-Qaida cell which flew the first plane into the World Trade Centre.

    Abu Qutada’s lawyers said he had no faith in the appeals process. His case is being heard by a “special immigration appeals commission” run by the government, not the court.

    Under anti-terror laws, authorities do not have to present evidence he committed a crime, but are required to show “reasonable grounds to suspect” he has links to “terrorism”.

    Human rights groups have condemned the process and called for the government to present its evidence in open court.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.