You know, this is one of those tough cases whih rather test one\’s devotion to civil liberties. That Abu-Hamza\’s a bad \’un is, I think, beyond doubt. However:
Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States, a judge ruled yesterday – three and a half years after the extremist preacher was arrested on a “fast-track” warrant.
Not happy about that. For, you see, he\’s a British citizen. Yes, I know, he may have got that through a bigamous marriage but the solution there is to prove that and then strip him of that citizenship.
Hugo Keith, representing the US Government, told the court that the cleric had been involved in “blatant violence, kidnapping and terrorist training”. Mr Keith said: “The general allegation is that Hamza is a member of a global conspiracy to wage jihad against the US and other western countries. He advocates the defence of Islam through violent, unlawful and armed aggression against the enemies of Islam in order to influence the US government.”
He may well be, I think the allegations (for whatever tiny amount my opinions are worth) probably are true. But, you see, in a free country, it is up to you to show that you have sufficient evidence for trial before you whisk him off to another country to try him. Whether or not he should be a British citizen, whether or not he will remain one, are not the issues: he is at present one and so should be afforded the protection of the State.
Yes, even though we\’ve got a law allowing these fast track extraditions: we shouldn\’t have that law is the point.
As Larry Flynt said about freedom of speech (wasn\’t it?), that\’s the whole point of such laws. If they\’ll protect bastards like me then you can be sure that they\’ll protect you, too.
I\’ve no problem with Abu Hamza being extradited, no hassle with the idea that he\’ll likely spend the rest of his life in jail, whether in Yemen or the US. All I want is that he gets the same treatment I would want for myself: that before extradition those doing the extraditing show that they have reasonable evidence for a trial.
Not this fast track shit.