London, Sep 27: Radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri’s extradition has been halted after the hook-handed cleric’s legal team got a court ruling, preventing him from being sent to the US pending an urgent hearing in open court.
It is thought that Hamza’s lawyers would argue that his physical and mental health has deteriorated so much that he is not fit to stand trial on terror charges.
However, Home Office officials are still confident that Hamza would be removed from the country.
“We’re still confident he’ll be out of the country soon,” the Daily Mail quoted a source, as saying.
Sources claimed that Hamza’s legal team, who have already earned more than half a million pounds in legal aid from representing him, were ‘playing the system’.
Earlier, Hamza along with five other major terror suspects including Babar Ahmad were ruled to be deported from the UK following an approval from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Hamza’s previous petition against his extradition, in which he had claimed that a potential jail term of up to 50 years without parole would breach his human right to be protected from ‘inhuman or degrading treatment’, was dismissed by the Human Rights court.
The radical cleric’s request for an injunction to his extradition will now be considered on Tuesday.
If he loses, the UK Government’s target of deporting him to the United States within two weeks will still be on track, but if he wins, then the legal process will begin again, with the Home Office sure to appeal the decision, the paper said. (ANI)