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Abu Hamza wins passport appeal

The British Government has failed with its appeal to strip Abu Hamza of his British passport, a special tribunal has ruled.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission has confirmed that the hate preacher could keep hold of his passport in a 12-page ruling.

It agreed that the radical cleric would be "stateless" if he was to lose his British passport, having already been stripped of his Egyptian citizenship.

In February 2006, Hamza, 52, was jailed for seven years for inciting murder and race hate.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said: "We are satisfied on balance of probabilities that if a deprivation order were to be made, the appellant (Hamza) would be made stateless."

Mr Justice Mitting ruled it was unclear whether Hamza was stripped of his Egyptian nationality before or after the then-home secretary David Blunkett gave notice of his intention to strip the radical cleric of his British citizenship on April 4 2003.

But he said the panel heard from experts who "had very good grounds for believing, and did believe, that a decree had been issued, probably unpublished, which effectively stripped the appellant (Hamza) of his (Egyptian) nationality".

Hamza is currently in custody in London's Belmarsh Prison as he faces extradition to America to answer terror charges.

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "We are extremely disappointed by today's judgment and will be considering it closely.

"British nationality is a privilege and the Home Secretary has the ability to remove it from dual nationals when she believes it to be in the public good. Today's ruling will not affect the ongoing extradition proceedings against him."


From Belfast Telegraph