6 Nov 2010

Jailed Muslim cleric to keep British citizenship

1:07 pm on 6 November 2010

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has won his appeal against the British government's attempt to strip him of his citizenship.

Mr Hamza has been in jail since 2006 for inciting murder and race hate and is fighting extradition to the United States, the ABC reports.

The Egyptian-born preacher, who has one eye and a hook for a hand, is the former imam of the once notorious Finsbury Park mosque in north London.

Britain's interior ministry wanted him stripped of his passport, but the cleric has argued this would render him without a state as he has already been stripped of his Egyptian citizenship.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission has agreed, saying Britain cannot leave the cleric "stateless".

A Downing Street spokeswoman says prime minister David Cameron is disappointed, but the decision will not affect ongoing extradition proceedings.