NEW YORK, Oct 9, 2012 (AFP) -
NEW YORK, Oct 9, 2012 (AFP) –
British radical Islamic preacher Abu Hamza pleaded not guilty in a US court on Tuesday to 11 terror charges, including conspiring to set up an Al-Qaeda-style training camp on American soil.
The heavily-bearded 54-year-old suspect appeared at the Federal Court in New York without his trademark hook-like prosthetic hand, which was removed by US authorities after he was extradited from Britain last week.
The Egyptian-born one-eyed cleric is being prosecuted under his birth name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, but is better known in radical circles as Abu Hamza Al-Masri, a former preacher at mosques in Britain.
Asked by Judge Katherine Forrest to confirm he wanted to plead not guilty to the charges, he replied quietly: “Yes, your honor.” It was his only statement during his hearing, at which he wore a blue prison uniform.
The judge set August 26 next year as the trial date and remanded Abu Hamza in custody in the maximum security detention center attached to the downtown New York courthouse.