Indicted Imam Abu Hamza to receive new prosthetics in U.S. jail

NEW YORK Sat Oct 27, 2012 9:39am IST

1 of 2. Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical Islamist cleric facing U.S. terrorism charges, sits with his legal team in Manhattan federal court in New York in this artist's sketch October 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jane Rosenberg

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A radical Islamist cleric facing U.S. terrorism charges will be outfitted with new prosthetics after authorities refused to allow him to wear metal hooks in place of his missing hands when he is outside of his jail cell, his lawyer said on Friday.

The Egyptian-born preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, who is missing both hands and his right eye, appeared in Manhattan federal court for the third time since his October 6 extradition to the United States from Britain as prosecutors and lawyers discussed procedure with the judge.

Hamza's lawyer, Jeremy Schneider, told reporters outside the courtroom his client would have his prosthetics changed on Tuesday. Schneider said the prosthetics he is allowed to wear, only inside the maximum security jail cell where he is being held, cause pain and irritation on his skin.

"I have no idea what the new prosthetics look like," Schneider said. Hamza, known for his signature metal hooks, appeared in court without prosthetics on Friday, his arms visibly red.

The white-haired and white bearded cleric, who has asked to be referred to in court by his birthname, Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, pleaded not guilty to 11 criminal charges on October 9.

He is being held in the maximum security section, known as South 10, of the Metropolitan Correctional Center next door to the courthouse in lower Manhattan.

Hamza was accused in 2004 of participating in hostage-taking in Yemen in 1998 that led to the deaths of three Britons and an Australian. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest set a trial date of August 26, 2013.

He is also charged with providing material support to the al Qaeda network by trying to set up a training camp in Oregon and attempting to organize support for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

On Friday, Forrest asked both sides about the potential size and scope of the case, which spans 14 years and three continents. Federal prosecutor Edward Kim said 47 boxes of documents and evidence would need to be shipped from Britain.

Schneider requested more lawyers to work on the case and said his client would help in preparing his defense. The judge said the defense could have two law firm partners, two associates and two paralegals, "resources to put on a full and fair defense." She scheduled the next hearing for December 14.

The cleric fought extradition for eight years. He was flown to the United States from Britain along with four other men also wanted on U.S. terrorism charges.

The cases are U.S. v. Mustafa Kamel Mustafa and U.S. v. Khalid al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Nos. 04-cr-00356 and 98-cr-1023.

(Reporting By Grant McCool; editing by Todd Eastham)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Islamic State

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Quest For Statehood

Quest For Statehood

Sweden recognises Palestinian state, hopes will revive peace process  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola health worker restrictions could deter others - U.S. envoy  Full Article 

East Jerusalem Clashes

East Jerusalem Clashes

Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist  Full Article 

Gas Supply Deal

Gas Supply Deal

Ukraine, Russia, EU likely to agree gas supply deal Thursday - officials  Full Article 

Sri Lanka Landslide

Sri Lanka Landslide

No hope for survivors in Sri Lanka landslide, over 100 dead  Full Article 

Photo

Unrest In Burkina Faso

Protesters demand Burkina Faso president quit, burn parliament   Full Article 

Syrian War

Syrian War

Syrian air strikes kill over 200 civilians in 10 days - monitor  Full Article 

Call For Probe

Call For Probe

U.N. watchdog urges Israel to probe possible Gaza war crimes  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage