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UK Muslim cleric urges appeals court to overturn conviction

[JURIST] Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile] told a British appeals court Monday that his February conviction [JURIST report] on incitement to murder charges [BBC summary; BBC trial timeline] should be overturned on the grounds that he was denied a fair trial. Hamza was convicted on 11 of 15 counts of inciting murder for urging his followers to kill Jews and other non-Muslims and using "threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior" to stir up racial hatred. His lawyers argued Monday that the delay in bringing charges, which stemmed from speeches given in the late 1990s, resulted in an unfair trial.

Hamza is also wanted in the United States, where he faces separate terrorism-related charges [PDF indictment; JURIST report], including funding and attempting to establish terrorist training camps in the US. The appeals court is expected to hear Hamza's case for at least two days. Reuters has more. The Independent has additional coverage.

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