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Terror suspect to face extradition

Judges have given Home Secretary Theresa May the go-ahead to extradite mentally-ill British terror suspect Haroon Aswat to the United States.

Earlier this year Mrs May was told to put plans on hold after judges said they wanted assurances from the United States government about the way Aswat would be cared for.

Today, two judges said they were satisfied with assurances given by American officials, following a High Court hearing in London.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas and Mr Justice Mitting said Aswat could be sent for trial in New York in accordance with arrangements made.

Aswat - who comes from Batley, West Yorkshire, and is thought to be in his late 30s - is wanted for allegedly conspiring with convicted terrorist Abu Hamza to establish a jihadi training camp in Oregon.

Hamza, who is in his 50s, was extradited from Britain to America nearly two years ago and found guilty of terrorism charges in May after a trial in New York. He has yet to be sentenced.

Judges were told that Aswat was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and had been transferred from a prison to a psychiatric hospital in Britain.

Aswat's lawyers argued that he might suffer a relapse if held in an American jail pending any trial. And, at a High Court hearing in April, judges had said they wanted assurances about the way he would be treated.

Home Office officials said later that the case could yet be heard by the Supreme Court.

They said pending any Supreme Court application by Aswat's lawyers, extradition arrangements would be made.

"We are pleased the court has upheld the Home Secretary's decision to extradite Haroon Aswat to the United States," said a Home Office spokesman.

"The court agreed that the American authorities had provided sufficient assurances over the conditions in which Aswat would be held in the US.

"Aswat's legal team has been given an opportunity to seek leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. Subject to any application, arrangements will now be made for his extradition."


From Belfast Telegraph