Hamza US trial set for next year

Radical cleric Abu Hamza will face trial in the US next year after pleading not guilty to terrorism charges in a New York court.

Hamza, indicted under the name Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, entered his plea at the Manhattan federal court before US District Judge Katherine B Forrest who set a trial date for August 26 2013.

He touched down in America on Saturday after he was kicked out of the UK following a failed appeal against extradition at the High Court on Friday.

He was jailed in the UK for seven years for soliciting to murder and inciting racial hatred in 2006 and first faced an extradition request from the Americans in 2004.

Hamza has been charged with 11 counts of criminal conduct related to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998, advocating violent jihad in Afghanistan in 2001, and conspiring to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon, between June 2000 and December 2001.

Hamza arrived in court on Saturday without the prosthetic hook he wears in place of one hand and he appeared without the hook again in court on Monday.

His lawyer Sabrina Shroff said then that he needed the hook back "otherwise, he will not be able to function in a civilised manner".

A US Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman, said: "In general, if an inmate arrives at any of our facilities with a prosthetic that we believe could pose a danger, it would not be permitted inside." She said Hamza would be medically evaluated to determine if other accommodations or devices would be appropriate.

Hamza is being held before trial in the same federal lockup where a prison guard lost an eye and was left brain damaged when he was stabbed with a sharpened comb in 2000 by a terrorism defendant awaiting trial in the embassy bombings plot.

Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary, two other suspected terrorists extradited from England with Hamza, are charged with participating in the bombings of embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in August 1998. Both men pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges on Saturday and yesterday their trial date was set for October 2013.