Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza loses his appeal against racial hatred convictions
Radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza has lost his appeal against his convictions for incitement to murder and race-hate offences.
His challenge was rejected in the Court of Appeal in London by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Phillips, Mr Justice Penry-Davey and Mr Justice Pitchford.
Hamza, 48, was convicted by an Old Bailey jury of 11 of the 15 charges he faced and was jailed for seven years in February.
During recent appeal proceedings it was argued on Hamza's behalf that a fair trial was made impossible by the delay in prosecuting him.
Dismissing the appeal, Lord Phillips said: "There is no reason to believe that the jury were not able to consider and resolve the relevant issues objectively and impartially." Hamza was not present for the ruling.
During recent appeal proceedings, his QC, Edward Fitzgerald, told the court it was "unfair" to put him on trial in 2006 for speeches made in the years 1997 to 2000.
He submitted that a "unique" series of subsequent events - including the September 2001 attacks on the US and the July 2005 bombings in London - and a campaign against him by the media and leading politicians "prejudiced" his chances of a fair trial.
It was "unfair and oppressive" to put him on trial in 2006 for speeches "in respect of which the police had taken no action at the time".
Hamza was "subjected to a relentless campaign of adverse media publicity condemning him as a preacher of hate and inciter of violence and to public condemnation by political figures".
During his month-long trial, the prosecution alleged he was a recruiting sergeant for global terrorism.
The prosecution case against him was that in sermons at the Finsbury Park mosque in north London and in Luton, Blackburn and Whitechapel, east London, "he was preaching terrorism, homicidal violence and hatred".
Hamza was convicted of inciting his followers to murder non-Muslims and Jews. He was also convicted of stirring up racial hatred and possessing a terror "manual", the Encyclopaedia Of The Afghani Jihad.
The manual featured a dedication to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and a list of potential targets, including Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower.
Muslim cleric jailed for inciting murder
Abu Hamza loses incitement appeal