Abu Hamza: The Queen's annoyed but what happens next?


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The Independent Online

So now we know. Even the Queen was disappointed at our inability to deport the hook-handed hate preacher. Dominic Casciani, the BBC's Home Affairs Correspondent, summarises his litany of crimes thus: "The case against Abu Hamza is substantial. He faces 11 allegations including trying to set up a terrorism training camp in a remote region of Oregon. He is also alleged to have assisted in hostage taking in Yemen, an incident in which Western tourists died. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment."

But what happens next? Quite a lot, actually: "Department of Justice officials will begin talking to their London counterparts in the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice about how the men will be handed over Typically, an extradition happens within two weeks of a final appeal being turned down. These cases may take a little longer to process. The US, for instance, will need to work out what facilities it is providing for Abu Hamza, given his disabilities. There is also the security question. Each man is considered a high-risk detainee. We don't know yet how the US wants to transfer the men, whether on one flight - which would have enormous symbolic value to British ministers - or separately and with no fanfare. Once they arrive in the US, the men will be transferred to courts in New York and neighbouring Connecticut where the formal trial process will begin. They will be given lawyers and the same rights as other defendants."

So don't expect an emphatic conclusion to this story any time soon, people. Incidentally, if you didn't know already, and can't tell from the picture, the Hook used to be a nightclub bouncer.