- 5th Nov, from Telegraph.co.uk
Hate preacher Abu Hamza has won his appeal against the Government's attempts to strip him of his British passport, a special tribunal has ruled.
Abu Hamza in Belmarsh Prison as he challenges attempts to extradite him to the US on terror charges. The radical cleric argued that such a move would render him "stateless" as he had already been stripped of his Egyptian citizenship.
Delivering its 12-page ruling, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) allowed his appeal.
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In his ruling, Mr Justice Mitting said: "We are satisfied on balance of probabilities that if a deprivation order were to be made, the appellant (Hamza) would be made stateless.
"The conclusions which we have reached in the closed judgment supplement, but do not contradict, that conclusion.
"Accordingly, this appeal is allowed."
Hamza, 52, was jailed for seven years in February 2006 for inciting murder and race hate.
He is in Belmarsh Prison as he challenges attempts to extradite him to the US on terror charges.
That case was delayed by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in July, which called for further submissions over the length of his sentence and the conditions he would experience if extradited to ADX Florence, a so-called "supermax" prison in Fremont County, Colorado.
Attempts to take his passport away were launched in 2003 but delayed by other legal actions against him.
At a three-day hearing in London last month, Hamza's lawyers argued he has already been stripped of his Egyptian citizenship so cannot have his British passport taken too, as that would render him "stateless".
But the Home Office said there was no documentation to prove he was no longer an Egyptian national and though he was once denied an Egyptian passport, he was later allowed one.
The commission heard Hamza may have had his Egyptian nationality revoked but the country's government would not confirm whether he had or not.
The cleric came to Britain on a student visa and acquired a British passport through marriage.
He was denied an Egyptian passport in 1982 because he had not undertaken military service, the panel heard, but a decree in 1988 allowed him his citizenship back.
But Egyptian law expert Sabah Al-Mukhtar, appearing as a witness for Hamza's legal team, told the commission it was possible he had been stripped of his nationality later on for other reasons.
He said by refusing Hamza a passport the Egyptian government was giving a "de facto" denial of his nationality.
James Strachan, for the Home Office, said Mr Al-Mukhtar's interpretation was a "fundamental disagreement" with their own expert's evidence.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said Prime Minister David Cameron was "disappointed" with the decision but that it would not affect ongoing extradition proceedings.