UK court dismisses Muslim cleric’s appeal of incitement conviction

UK court dismisses Muslim cleric’s appeal of incitement conviction

[JURIST] A three-judge panel of the UK Court of Appeal [official website] on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri [BBC profile] to overturn his conviction [JURIST report] on incitement-to-murder charges [BBC summary; BBC trial timeline]. In February, Hamza was convicted of 11 counts 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. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. His lawyers claimed that the delay in bringing charges, which stemmed from speeches given in the late 1990s, resulted in an unfair trial [JURIST report]. In dismissing the appeal, Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips [BBC profile] said, "There is no reason to believe that the jury were not able to consider and resolve the relevant issues objectively and impartially."

Hamza [JURIST news archive] also faces separate terrorism-related charges [PDF indictment; JURIST report] in the United States for allegedly funding and attempting to establish terrorist training camps. BBC News has more.