Abu Hamza loses extradition fight

The radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has lost his High Court battle against extradition to the United States, where he faces a jail sentence of up to 100 years.

If convicted on terrorist charges he is likely to spend the rest of his life locked up for 23 hours a day in a top-security jail in Colorado.

Two High Court judges sitting in London ruled yesterday that the decision to extradite Hamza was "unassailable" but gave him 14 days to appeal to the House of Lords. Hamza could delay the move further by taking his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

He was the first person to be arrested under a new Anglo-American extradition treaty in 2004. Hamza, 50, of west London, who has hooks on his partly amputated arms, is serving a seven-year sentence in Britain for stirring up racial hatred and inciting followers to kill non-believers.

US prosecutors want him to stand trial on up to 11 charges, including sending money and recruits to al-Qa'ida and the Taliban. They claim he was involved in a global conspiracy to wage jihad against the West. One of the most serious charges is that he was involved in the kidnap of 16 tourists in Yemen in 1998. Four hostages, including three Britons, died in a rescue attempt.

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