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Abu Hamza and four others extradited at last (8 October 2012)

Date: 08/10/2012
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, Abu Hamza and four others extradited at last

At last the long awaited extradition of the Islamist cleric and four other terror suspects was cleared by the High Court.
The radical cleric Abu Hamza was extradited to the US after the high court cleared their removal immediately.
The men were sent on two planes from the military airbase in Suffolk the home secretary Ms May said. After the flights took off she said that she could confirm that the five men were taken to the US to face trial.
The five men were Abu Hamza, Babar Ahmad, Adel Abdul Bary, Syed Ahsan and Khalid al-Fawwaz.
Ms Theresa May added that she was pleased the decision of the court meant that these men, who used every available opportunity to frustrate and delay the extradition process over many years, could finally be removed.
She added how the government has co-operated fully with the courts and pressed at every stage to ensure this happened.
After three days of legal argument, Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen's Bench division, and Mr Justice Ouseley lifted injunctions that had been preventing the men's removal.
The decision was the culmination of an eight-year legal battle that has strained the government's constitutional relationship with the European court of human rights in Strasbourg and frustrated politicians, as well as the lord chief justice.
The cases have involved appeals through the hierarchy of British and European courts, then back to the royal courts of justice in London.
Delivering judgment, Sir John Thomas said that all of these claimants have had long ago exhausted the avenues available in the UK. He said no appeal lied against their decision and that the home secretary was free to extradite them.
Sir John was scathing about the attempt to try to bring a private prosecution against Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan in Britain. He said that it was far too late to raise the issue now it only amounted to abuse of process he said.
Four of the five men had claimed that harsh prison conditions in the high security unit at the US jail, ADX Florence in Colorado, where they may eventually be imprisoned would breach their human rights. Abu Hamza, it was said, would not have to spend too long at the facility because of hid many medical conditions.
Abu Hamza, 54, who was jailed for seven years for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred, has been fighting extradition since 2004. Criminal lawyers defending him opposed deportation on the grounds that he was suffering memory loss and depression and was unfit to plead.
The other four terror suspects were accused of various offences including raising funds for terrorism through a website.

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