Hamza extradition hearing delayed

July 23, 2004 at 12:36 PM
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LONDON, July 23 (UPI) -- An extradition hearing in London against Muslim cleric Abu Hamza was adjourned Friday because of the complexity of the case, Sky News reported.

The Belmarsh Margistrates Court will hold a week-long hearing in Oct. 19 on the case of a man wanted by the United States as a key associate of Osama bin Laden.

Hamza's lawyers say his rights have been violated and because President Bush has put their client's name on a list of international terrorists, it will be impossible for him to have a fair hearing in the United States.

If extradited to the United States, he could be jailed for up to 100 years for charges including conspiring to set up terrorist training camps in Oregon and Afghanistan.

"The client would not have a fair trial due to the evidence that is being relied on by the U.S. government which was obtained by torture and at best plea bargaining," said Hamza's lawyer, Muddassar Arani.

Hamza also has been accused of playing a leading role in a hostage-taking incident in Yemen in 1998 in which four hostages, including three Britons, were killed.

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