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UK approves Abu Hamza extradition

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has approved the extradition of radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri to the United States on terror charges.

Abu Hamza, 49, of west London is wanted by the US authorities on charges which include providing support to Al Qaeda.

The Egypt-born preacher is currently serving a seven-year jail term in the UK for inciting murder and race hate.

Abu Hamza's lawyer says he will appeal, but if it fails he will be handed to the US authorities within 28 days.

'Grave concerns'

The extradition was originally approved by a court in London in November, but the actual handover to US authorities had been pending the final approval of that decision by the home decretary.

Abu Hamza's solicitor, Muddassar Arani, says he will appeal against the home secretary's ratification of the extradition order. They have 14 days to do so.

Ms Arani, said: "There are grave concerns about what might happen if the extradition goes ahead.

"The Americans have said he will not face the death penalty or be sent to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp - but how can we be sure?

Torture fear

"I also fear that if he was sent to America he would become a victim of torture.

Ms Arani added: "I understand this might be a popular move with some sections of the public. But we have to ask ourselves whether it is morally right.

"We have standards in this country that will not be upheld if we extradite Abu Hamza and whatever people think of him they should understand that."

The US government wants to put Abu Hamza on trial on 11 charges......article conts

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