Ruling due on 'Hamza conspirator'
A terror suspect accused of conspiring with hook-handed extremist Abu Hamza will learn today if British authorities breached his human rights by extraditing him to the United States.
The European Court of Human Rights is to rule on the case of paranoid schizophrenic Haroon Aswat, who was sent to New York in October after the US government gave assurances about his treatment.
Lawyers for the 40-year-old from from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, say that the assurances, which led the High Court and ECHR to lift a block on his extradition, were inadequate and his removal breached Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Aswat, who was originally arrested in 2005, was being held at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital before he was sent to the US. He later appeared in a New York court, where he pleaded not guilty to four terrorism charges. He is accused by US authorities of working with Hamza in 1999 to set up a Jihadist training camp in Oregon.
Hamza, previously of north London, was jailed for life earlier this month after a jury last year found him guilty of supporting terrorist organisations, including aiding the taking of hostages in Yemen and seeking to set up an al Qaida training camp in the US.
Aswat's extradition was blocked in April 2013 by ECHR judges who ruled that he could face inhumane treatment as there were no guarantees over where he would be detained.
In April Home Secretary Theresa May was told to put extradition plans on hold after High Court judges heard that Aswat suffered from serious mental illness.
But in September judges at the same court said they were satisfied with assurances given by American officials that he would be cared for.
The ECHR judges will hand down a written ruling on the challenge.