Abu Hamza launches last-ditch legal challenge


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The Independent Online

Just 24 hours after it was announced that the radical cleric Abu Hamza was to be deported from the UK, his lawyers launched an eleventh-hour legal attempt to save him from extradition.

Today, a judge issued interim injunctions preventing Hamza’s removal – along with the fellow terror suspect Khalid al-Fawwaz – pending an “urgent” hearing of their application before the High Court.

It was unclear on what grounds the two men were  attempting to block their extradition, but a spokeswoman for the Judicial Office confirmed that  both men were “seeking injunctions preventing their removal from  the UK”.

“The applications will be heard by the Divisional Court on 2 October before Sir John Thomas, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, and Mr Justice Ouseley,” she added.

The new legal action comes after judges at the European Court of Human Rights appeared to end Hamza’s eight-year battle by dismissing his request to appeal.

The court ruled on 10 April that “detention conditions and length of sentences of five alleged terrorists would not amount to ill-treatment if they were extradited to the USA”.

On Tuesday the panel of five judges threw out Hamza’s request – along with that of fellow suspects  Fawwaz, Babar Ahmad, Seyla Talha Ahsan and Adel Abdul  Bary – to appeal the decision to its Grand Chamber.

Hamza, who was jailed for seven years for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred, has been fighting extradition since 2004.