Skip to comments.Abu Hamza appears at Old Bailey ahead of trial [Captain Hook]
Posted on 01/09/2006 8:51:24 AM PST by Alouette
LONDON (AFP) - Abu Hamza al-Masri, the one-eyed, hook-handed Islamist cleric, appeared before London's main criminal court charged with soliciting the murder of Jews and non-Muslims and other alleged crimes.
Hamza, the former imam of Finsbury Park mosque in north London, faces a total of 15 charges, including nine of "soliciting to murder" and four of using language aimed at stirring up racial hatred.
One of the charges is under the Terrorism Act 2000, accusing him of possessing a document, "The Encyclopaedia of the Afghani Jihad", which contained information "of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism".
Another accuses him of having video and audio recordings which he intended to distribute to stir up racial hatred.
All the offences are alleged to have been committed before May 2004.
Wearing a light blue shirt and trousers, the bearded and bespectacled Hamza, whose grey hair was closely cut, appeared at the Old Bailey Central Criminal Court flanked by three security officers.
The proceedings were taken up with preliminary matters, none of which can be reported because of strict contempt of court laws.
Other details that may form part of a prosecution case can also not be reported until they are either put before a jury or until after any trial.
The prosecution in Hamza's trial is expected to begin putting its case before a jury on Wednesday.
Hamza has been held at high-security Belmarsh prison in southeast London since his arrest in May 2004.
Born in Alexandria to an Egyptian army officer, Hamza became a British citizen through marriage in 1981, two years after he came to the country to become a civil engineer.
He lost an eye and both hands, one of which he replaced with a metal hook, while in Afghanistan in the late 1980s.
Warning! This is a high-volume ping list.
"He lost an eye and both hands, one of which he replaced with a metal hook, while in Afghanistan in the late 1980s."
Actually, he lost the hands in Afghanistan. Later, he lost the eye the day he switched to contact lenses.
Caught shoplifting at the Kabul mall?
abu hamza ping
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