Europe court backs extradition of mentally ill British militant suspect

Haroon Aswar, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was extradited from Britain to the U.S. in October

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The European Court of Human Rights backed on Thursday a previous decision to extradite a mentally-ill British man suspected of setting up a militant training camp on U.S. soil, Agence France Presse reported.

Haroon Aswar, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, was extradited from Britain to the U.S. in October.

While a 2013 court ruling found Aswar’s extradition would breach articles prohibiting inhuman and degrading treatment, Thursday’s decision reversed that stance.

The 2013 decision was based solely, the Guardian reports, on the severity of the 40-year-old's illness in addition to the court’s doubts whether he will be afforded the appropriate treatment and accommodation while detained in the U.S.

But the court reversed its decision on Thursday, saying it was satisfied Aswat was receiving "appropriate treatment" in the US.

Aswat is accused of setting up a training camp in Bly, Oregon in the United States between June 2000 and December 2001 for people wanting to go to fight in Afghanistan.

He is said to have acted under orders from radical British preacher Abu Hamza, who was himself extradited to the U.S. and last year convicted on 11 kidnapping and terrorism charges.

Aswat pleaded not guilty to four counts of conspiracy and providing material support to Al-Qaeda in a New York court in October.

His trial is due to begin in June and he faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted.

Aswat was arrested in 2005 in Zambia, extradited to Britain and moved to a psychiatric hospital in 2008 until being sent to the U.S.

After travelling to Bly, U.S. officials say he spent two months in Seattle living at a mosque where he witnessed men being given additional coaching on how to handle weapons.

They say that documents recovered by FBI agents from a safe house used by 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan listed a number of individuals associated with Al-Qaeda, including Aswat.

[With AFP]