LONDON, Oct 05, 2012 (AFP) -
LONDON, Oct 05, 2012 (AFP) –
Radical Islamist preacher Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects are to hear Friday whether they have won their last-ditch legal attempt to halt their extradition to the United States.
Two judges at the High Court in London are to hand down the eagerly awaited ruling at 2:30 pm (1330 GMT), Britain’s Judicial Office announced, following a three-day hearing earlier in the week.
Neither the Egyptian-born cleric nor fellow suspects Khaled Al-Fawwaz, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Babar Ahmad will be in court for the ruling judgment as they are all in high-security jails.
Around a dozen supporters with placards saying “Stop Extradition” stood on the pavement outside the Royal Courts of Justice, along with a lone protester calling for Abu Hamza’s removal.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in September that all five men could be extradited, but the High Court ordered the government not to remove them while it heard their final appeals.
Lawyers for Abu Hamza, 54, who has been indicted in the United States on charges including setting up an Al-Qaeda-style training camp for militants in the northwestern state of Oregon, argued that he should not be extradited because he needs a brain scan.
The former imam of the Finsbury Park mosque in north London has depression, sleep deprivation and memory loss which make him unfit to plead, his lawyers told the court, as well as infections in the stumps of his two amputated arms.
Hamza has also been charged with criminal conduct related to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998 and with advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001.
Lawyers for Fawwaz, a 50-year-old Saudi national who was indicted by the United States for alleged involvement in the bombing of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998 which killed hundreds, said he had disassociated himself from Osama bin Laden.
Bary, a 52-year-old Egyptian national who faces the same allegations as Fawwaz, should not be extradited because the European court had incorrect information on the amount of time he would spend in isolation at ADX Florence, the “supermax” jail in the United States, his lawyers said.
Meanwhile lawyers for computer experts Ahmad, 38, and Ahsan, 32, have argued that British authorities were wrong not to allow a private prosecution that would have meant them going on trial in Britain and prevented their extradition.
Ahmad and Ahsan, both British nationals, are accused of operating websites supporting Chechen and Afghan insurgents.
Hamza — who wears a hook where his right hand once was — has been in prison for eight years after being convicted in Britain of inciting hatred.
Fawwaz and Bary have been in prison without trial since 1999, while Ahmad has been behind bars since 2004 and Ahsan since 2006.