Abu Hamza Extradition: Key Events In The Preacher's Life

Abu Hamza: Key Events In The Life Of The Notorious Preacher

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has lost his fight over extradition to the United States.

Here is a timeline of key events in his case:

1958: Hamza was born Mustafa Kamel Mustafa in Alexandria, Egypt

1980s: Came to the UK to study civil engineering. In 1980 he met and married an English woman, Valerie Fleming, and received British citizenship, but the couple divorced in 1984. For a time he worked as a bouncer at a peep show in London. Hamza later suffered injuries to his hands and eye in Afghanistan, where he travelled to fight a "jihad" against Soviet occupation.

On his return to the UK, Hamza started preaching radical anti-Western sermons at the Finsbury Park Mosque, in north London.

2001: Following the attacks on September 11, Hamza's comments in support of Osama Bin Laden sparked outrage.

April 2002: Formally suspended by the Charity Commission from his position at the Finsbury Park mosque, over his inflammatory speeches.

11 September 2002: Hamza spoke at a controversial conference at the mosque titled A Towering Day in History.

January 2003: Armed police arrested seven people at the mosque in a dawn raid. A stun gun, replica firearms and CS gas canisters were among the items seized.

February 2003: Hamza again caused outrage when he described the Colombia space shuttle, which contained Christians, Hindus and a Jewish person, as a "trinity of evil" and said its destruction was a punishment from Allah.

April 2003: Then-home secretary David Blunkett announced new laws allowing British citizenship to be removed from immigrants who "seriously prejudice" the UK's interests. Legal moves began to get Hamza deported to Yemen.

Two weeks later, his lawyers announced he would appeal against the move.

May 2004: Hamza was arrested on a US extradition warrant. The US want him on charges of conspiring to take Western hostages in Yemen, funding terrorism, and organising a terrorist training camp in Oregon between 1998 and 2000.

October 2004: He was charged with 15 offences under the Terrorism Act, including incitement to murder and possession of a terrorism document, temporarily staying the US extradition process.

February 2006: Hamza was jailed for seven years after being found guilty on 11 of 15 charges.

July 2006: Hamza given the go-ahead to challenge the convictions for incitement to murder and race hate offences.

November 2006: the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against the conviction.

May 2007: A preliminary extradition hearing took place in London.

July 2007: Hearing where Hamza spoke by video link to fight the extradition.

November 2007: A judge at London's City of Westminster Magistrates' Court ruled that Hamza had lost his legal arguments against his long-running extradition battle. Senior District Judge Timothy Workman sent the matter to the Home Secretary to make a final decision.

February 2008: Then-home secretary Jacqui Smith signed an extradition order, meaning Hamza would be handed over to US authorities within 28 days if he did not appeal.

June 2008: Hamza appealed, delaying moves to extradite him. He later lost his bid to avoid extradition, when two High Court judges ruled that the decision was "unassailable".

July 2008: Hamza refused permission to appeal to the House of Lords when senior judge Sir Igor Judge refused to certify that his case raised a point of law of such public importance to go before the highest court in the land.

August 2008: the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Hamza should not be extradited until judges could examine his case. The Home Office said it would abide by the court's request.

January 2010: Hamza launched another legal fight to hang on to his British passport.

February 2010: Legal aid bosses seized Hamza's house in Greenford, west London, to pay off his legal bills, despite the radical preacher claiming it did not belong to him. Officials hoped to raise £280,000 from the sale.

November 2010: Hamza won his appeal against the government's attempts to strip him of his British passport. The move would have rendered him "stateless" as he had already been stripped of his Egyptian citizenship, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) ruled.

April 2012: Europe's human rights judges ruled that Hamza, along with four other terror suspects, would not be subject to "ill-treatment" in America and said their extradition was lawful.


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