No, this is not a parody. From the Times Online, with thanks to libbysmom:
The Islamic cleric Abu Hamza refused to appear on a video link to the Old Bailey to face terrorism charges today, after complaining that his toenails were too long.
Mr Hamza, the former Imam of Finsbury Park mosque in North London, had been due to enter pleas to 16 charges, including soliciting murder, via a camera link to the court while he sat in a special room at Belmarsh Prison, South London.
But as the Recorder of London Judge Peter Beaumont, barristers and police waited in vain at the Old Bailey for Mr Hamza to appear on screen, a prison officer warned them that he was refusing to leave his cell.
The officer said: “He is refusing to come over here. He is being checked over by medical staff. He is saying he is unable to walk.”
Paul Hynes, Mr Hamza’s defence counsel, said: “He has been perambulating around the prison bare foot for the last couple of days. It is a long-standing problem.”
Mr Hynes said that the defence was not ready, in any case, to enter pleas.
Adina Ezekiel, prosecuting, said: “The Crown do have some concerns. He is complaining his toenails are too long.”