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Abu Hamza remanded in custody

BBC, UK
July 1, 2004
news.bbc.co.uk

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday July 1, 2004

Muslim cleric Abu Hamza, arrested on US terror charges, has been remanded in custody after appearing in a London court via a video link from prison.

Mr Hamza, 46, faces nine charges, including hostage taking and supporting al-Qaeda, if the US successfully extradites him from Britain.

He is being held at Belmarsh prison in London and appeared on a screen at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Nicholas Evans remanded Mr Hamza in prison until 23 July.

His hearing is scheduled to begin at that date at Belmarsh prison.

But his defence counsel, Ali Bajwa, told the court they will ask for an adjournment to gather more defence evidence.

Mr Bajwa said: “There is likely to be an application to adjourn unless the application is refused, on 23 July.”

Death penalty

Hugo Keith, representing the US government, said the American authorities had submitted its allegations against the cleric.

The US alleges Mr Hamza acted as an intermediary with a terrorist group which took 16 tourists hostage in the Yemen six years ago.

It also claims he provided support for terrorists, particularly al-Qaeda, and attempted to establish a terror training camp in Oregon.

Under current UK law, Britain must seek US agreement that no death penalty will be sought before any extradition is approved.

Mr Hamza, who gained UK citizenship through marriage in 1981, did not speak during Thursday’s 10-minute hearing.

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