Abu Hamza ‘launches fresh bid to be released from US supermax prison’

Abu Hamza
Abu Hamza

Hate preacher Abu Hamza has launched a fresh legal bid to be released from a maximum security prison in the United States, according to reports.

He has claimed several bouts of Covid have left him too ill to live in solitary confinement, the Telegraph reported.

The former Finsbury Park Mosque imam, 65, was handed a life sentence in 2015 after being extradited from the UK to face US terrorism charges

He has since been imprisoned in solitary confinement in ADX Florence, a “supermax” prison in the Colorado desert said to be the most secure in the world.

He reportedly spends 23 hours a day alone in a windowless, soundproof cell.

Court papers say Hamza — who heaped praise on the 9/11 hijackers — will ask for “compassionate release”, the Sun reported.

In a letter to Analisa Torres, a New York district judge, Hamza’s lawyers reportedly said they planned to speed up a planned appeal on compassionate grounds in light of the terrorist’s ill health.

The appeal, known officially as a motion for reduction in sentence, would look to move Hamza out of solitary confinement into a lower security prison or to release him entirely.

“In [Hamza’s] motion for reduction in sentence we anticipate raising, among other things, the draconian conditions of confinement that [he] has been subjected to during his incarceration at ADX Florence,” Hamza’s lawyer Michael Bachrach reportedly said.

He argued the conditions “have led to multiple bouts of Covid-19, substantially failing health, and 24/7 solitary confinement for the past eight years,” adding that they were “in contravention of the representations made by the United States to obtain his extradition from the United Kingdom”.

Mr Bachrach said he would file the appeal by October 31 and wait for the US government to respond.

Hamza, who once preached his fundamentalist views at Finsbury Park Mosque, was extradited in 2012 to face 11 terrorism charges, including the kidnapping of 16 tourists in Yemen in 1998, assisting terrorists, and attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon.

An attempt to appeal his extradition failed when the European Court of Human Rights ruled that “conditions at ADX would not amount to ill-treatment”.

At his sentencing in New York, judge Katherine Forrest said that Hamza had expressed no remorse for his actions and that “any time he is released, the world will not be safe”.