The difference in treatment raises reasonable questions. With six high-profile jihad suspects in this situation, the court arguably appears to be playing a waiting game with Britain, hoping London will drop the cases after a certain amount of time has passed. That would afford the court a kind of “pocket veto” that saves it the political fallout of having to say “yes” or “no” outright.
“Judges’ Â£2.5m delay in extraditing six UK terror suspects… but they were quick to seal hacker Gary’s fate,” by James Slack and Michael Seamark for the Daily Mail, October 18:
European human rights judges are costing the British taxpayer millions of pounds by stalling the extradition of six of the world’s most wanted Islamist terror suspects.
The independent panel that has been reviewing extradition laws will today accuse the European Court of Human Rights of being inefficient and slow.
The six terror suspects — who include hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza — have been languishing in British jails for a combined total of almost 50 years.
The cost to the taxpayer of their incarceration alone is an estimated Â£2.5million. They are accused of running terror training camps, plotting atrocities and running extremist websites.
But the controversial European court has halted their extradition to the U.S. in case their human rights are breached by lengthy jail sentences. The court has allowed their cases to drag on for years.
Campaigners point to the stark difference between the way the court has dealt with terror suspects and its treatment of Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon.
Whatever the particulars of McKinnon’s case may be, it shows the court is capable of moving quickly.
Gary, who searched NASA computers from his North London home looking for evidence of “˜little green men”, is facing extradition to the U.S. on computer hacking charges.
But the European judges dismissed his appeal against extradition in little more than a day.
Gary”s extradition, under the Extradition Act, is the subject of the Daily Mail’s “˜An Affront to British Justice” campaign.
It was temporarily halted by Home Secretary Theresa May last year. She wants to examine advice on whether the 45-year-old is fit to be sent abroad.
Today the review panel, established by the Home Office and led by Lord Justice Scott Baker, will urge ministers to put pressure on the Strasbourg court to reform the way it works.
In particular, it wants cases to be dealt with much more quickly.
The Government, which has been embroiled in a long row with the court over votes for prisoners, will jump at the chance to issue a rebuke to the judges over terror.
The Mail has learnt that the six cases involve terror suspects that the U.S. is desperate to put on trial.
They include hate-preacher Abu Hamza and his trusted lieutenant Haroon Aswat — who are wanted by the U.S. authorities for allegedly plotting to set up a jihad training camp in Oregon.
Hamza’s case alone has already cost the public purse Â£1.1million in legal aid.
He was jailed for seven years in February 2006 for preaching hate and inciting murder at Finsbury Park Mosque in North London.
He would be eligible for release but remains in jail while his extradition case continues. If Strasbourg rules definitively that he cannot be extradited, officials would have little option but to release him on to Britain’s streets.
Two other men, Baba Ahmad and Seyla Ahsan, are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorist atrocities overseas and supporting terrorist groups.
They have been held in British jails — at a cost of Â£50,000 each per year — for between five and seven years while they fight extradition on human rights grounds.
Another man, Khalid al-Fawwaz, who is considered one of the U.S.”s most wanted terror suspects, has been in jail here since 1999.
Allegedly an associate of Osama Bin Laden, he was arrested over bomb attacks on two U.S. embassies in East Africa which killed more than 200 in 1998.
The sixth man, Adel Abdul Bary, is also wanted in connection with the embassy bombings and has been held in prison for 13 years.
All have exhausted their rights of appeal in UK courts and are being held in high-security detention.
The European court has stalled extradition on the grounds that the lengthy jail terms they face if convicted may breach their human rights….