Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat- Egyptian Islamist lawyer Muntasir al-Zayyat has denied receiving any information that Egypt had officially requested the extradition of Abu-Hamza al-Masri from Britain or the United States as has been reported in the press.
The Egyptian application for Abu-Hamza’s extradition was made about four months ago, according to Egyptian security sources that spoke with Asharq Al Awsat on the condition of anonymity. The sources also revealed that Abu-Hamza’s British citizenship does not negate Egypt’s right to ask for his extradition and the questioning of him about political activities targeting Egypt.
In statements he made to Asharq Al-Awsat following his return from Doha yesterday, Al-Zayyat said Abu-Hamza relinquished his Egyptian nationality some years ago after getting the British one and that his defense asked him to report this and pointed out in its defense of him that his life would be in danger if he was extradited to Egypt. Al-Zayyat stressed that no court sentences were issued in Egypt against Abu-Hamza, whose extradition to the United States was approved by a court, and that he was not wanted by its security organs, which cast doubts on the likelihood of being extradited to Egypt if it applied for this. He added that Abu-Hamza has appealed against the decision to extradite him to the United States.
The British authorities arrested Abu-Hamza before two years at America’s request on charges of involvement in terrorist activities. A British court ordered his extradition to the United States but his defense appealed against the decision.