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Cameron hails Hamza extradition decision


David Cameron hailed a decision by human rights judges today which paves the way for radical preacher Abu Hamza and four other terrorist suspects to be deported from Britain.

The Prime Minister said he was "very pleased" that the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg had rejected the men's claims that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the US which would amount to "torture".

Speaking during a trade mission to South East Asia, Mr Cameron said: "I am very pleased with the news.

"It is quite right that we have proper legal processes, although sometimes one can get frustrated with how long they take."

Mr Cameron went on: "I think it is very important that the deportation and expulsion arrangements (work) promptly and properly, particularly when people are accused of very serious crimes."

The five men had argued that in the US they could face prison conditions and jail terms which would expose them to "torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in breach of the European human rights code.

They include radical Muslim preacher Hamza, currently serving a seven-year sentence in Britain for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred, and Babar Ahmad, a 36-year-old computer expert and alleged terrorism fundraiser who has been held in a UK prison without trial for nearly eight years.

Three others - Seyla Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled Al-Fawwaz - can also be extradited, while the case of a sixth man, Haroon Rashid Aswat, was adjourned today until a further hearing.

Today's verdict declared that "detention conditions and length of sentences of five alleged terrorists would not amount to ill-treatment if they were extradited to the USA".

The judges emphasised that today's ruling only becomes final after three months, if there has been no further appeal.

Meanwhile, the judges said, "the court decided to continue its indication to the United Kingdom Government that the applicants should not be extradited until this judgment became final or until the case was referred to the Grand Chamber (of the Human Rights court)".