UK lawyer: Extremist wanted by US is depressed

AP News
Posted: Oct 03, 2012 1:13 PM
UK lawyer: Extremist wanted by US is depressed

LONDON (AP) — The British lawyer for a terror suspect wanted by U.S. officials said Wednesday his client is too depressed and unhealthy to extradite.

Alun Jones told judges at London's High Court on Wednesday that extremist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri is suffering from clinical depression, inability to concentrate and short-term memory loss. Jones says his client needs a brain scan and should not be extradited to America.

Jones said a brain scan could establish whether al-Masri is suffering from some organic, degenerative condition affecting his ability to concentrate on legal proceedings, and thus his fitness to plead.

Al-Masri, who turned London's Finsbury Park Mosque into a training ground for radical Islamists, is wanted by U.S. authorities on charges that include helping set up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon.

He has one eye and a steel hook in place of his right hand, as a result of injuries to his arms and face sustained in what he has described as land-mine explosions while fighting the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Al-Masri and three other terror suspects are fighting extradition to the U.S. on a variety of different grounds.

The court is due to rule on their case on Friday.