British authorities have been trying to rid the UK of Muslim Cleric Abu Hamza for more years that they care to remember. Finally his extradition to the USA is on the cards. Hamza tried every means open to him to prevent his extradition. The latest has been an appeal by representatives insisting that he needs medical diagnostic tests before he is extradited. The judge was not having any more of this though and ruled that such tests, if they are necessary, can be carried out in the US.
Four more men will be extradited with Hamza. All are often referred to as terror suspects. These are Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz. Judges have decided that there is no new nor compelling evidence which would halt extradition proceedings.
The extradition proceedings will now get under way. According to the BBC this is what will happen next:
The family of Babar Ahmad, a UK citizen, have voiced their frustration at his possible extradition. His case is somewhat different to that of Abu Hamza. Babar and his family have pressed for a trial in the UK. Our earlier report included the following which was from a BBC report: "The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service have denied impropriety. The unprecedented interview in the maximum security Long Lartin Prison came after the BBC challenged a government ban on filming Mr Ahmad. The High Court ruled that there was an overwhelming public interest in hearing Mr Ahmad discuss his case, because of his unique situation.
"I have been in prison now for nearly eight years without trial," Mr Ahmad said. "I am facing extradition to the US to spend the rest of my life in solitary confinement. I have never been questioned about the allegations against me. "I do not hold the Americans responsible for anything that has happened to me, but I think it is fair to say that I am fighting for my life - and I am running out of time."
The 37-year-old from Tooting in south London was arrested in 2004 on an extradition warrant from the United States.The BBC fought a High Court battle to allow Mr Ahmad to be interviewed. US prosecutors say he headed a terrorist "support cell" in London through a website called Azzam.com. He faces life imprisonment if convicted. Scotland Yard had arrested Mr Ahmad the previous year, but released him without charge."
Since when did the UK not try suspects? Mr Ahmad's father has said that his son should face trial in the UK. The only link to the US appears to be that the website was hosted in the USA. How can people be held for such long periods of time with no trial?? No hard evidence? No proof of guilt?
The UK and British people pride themselves on the excellent legal processes the country abides by. What is so different in the case of Babar Hamad?
Around 19:15pm Friday October 5, the men were all taken by police escort from Long Lartin prison to RAF Mildenhall. The men are expected to be handed over to US marshals waiting there. According to the BBC "A US Department of Justice-owned civilian Gulfstream jet," has been waiting since Tuesday of this week. As all the men should be facing a civilian court no army officers should be present.