The controversial radical preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri on Friday lost his final legal bid against extradition to America over alleged terror offences after the High Court ruled that he had produced no “new and compelling’’ evidence to overturn a verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering his deportation.
Four other men — Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz — accused of being Osama bin Laden’s agents in London also had their appeals rejected.
Dismissing their and Hamza’s appeals, the judges said their extradition "may proceed immediately".
Referring specifically to Abu Hamza, they said: "The sooner he is put on trial the better".
There were scuffles outside between Hamza’s slogan-shouting supporters and the police.
In a strong ruling, judges Sir John Thomas and Mr. Justice Ousley said there was an "overwhelming public interest in the functioning of the extradition system" and that there was "no appeal from our decision".
Hamza’s lawyers had argued that his long incarceration in a high-security prison had affected his health and he was unfit to travel to America and stand trial.
The Home Office said it wanted to put him on a plane to America as “quickly as possible’’.
The 54-year-old Egyptian-born Hamza, whose real name is Mustafa Kamel Mustafa , was jailed for seven years in 2006 on charges of soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred after his rabble-rousing sermons at a London mosque. He is wanted in the U.S. over allegations that he plotted to set up a terror training camp in Oregon and was involved in kidnapping western hostages in Yemen resulting in the death of four tourists.
Last month, the ECHR rejected Hamza’s argument that his extradition would be an infringement of his human rights as he feared that he would not get a fair trial in the U.S.
Babar Ahmed’s family said they would “continue to fight’’ arguing that as the allegations against him related to his actions in Britain he should not be extradited. He is accused of running extremist websites, one of them hosted in America.