UK cleric's extradition appeal rejected

Rights court approves extradition to US of radical Muslim cleric accused of aiding a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.

    The European Court of Human Rights has given final approval for one of Britain's most radical Islamist clerics, Abu Hamza al-Masri, to be extradited to the United States along with four others to be tried on terrorism charges.

    The decision on Monday came after the Egyptian-born cleric and other suspects had filed an appeal after the court in Strasbourg authorised Britain to transfer him to the United States on charges that he supported al-Qaeda and aided a fatal kidnapping in Yemen.

    Al-Masri, 54, could face a sentence of over 100 years in an ultra-secure prison.

    A spokesperson for Britain's Home Office welcomed the outcome, adding that Britain would work to ensure that all five individuals were handed over to US authorities as quickly as possible.

    Al-Masri is one of the most radical Islamists in Britain, where he was once a preacher at a North London mosque and later convicted of inciting murder and racial hatred.

    He was indicted in 2004 by a federal grand jury in New York, accused of providing direct material support to al-Qaeda and of involvement in a hostage taking in Yemen in 1998 in which four hostages were killed.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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