March 01, 2014


Cleric plans to testify in NY trial NEW YORK — Islamist cleric Abu Hamza Al-Masri plans to testify in his own defense at his trial on terrorism charges in New York in April, according to a letter to the judge overseeing his case. In a five-page hand-written letter made public on Thursday, Al-Masri told US District Judge Katherine Forrest he was “surprised” no one had told her of his plans. Al-Masri also wrote that, when he testifies, he does not want to exclude mention of any person, organization or place referred to in his indictment, saying it would be “impossible” to provide a coherent account otherwise. The judge said in an order on Thursday that she planned to discuss the letter at a hearing on Friday. Joshua Dratel, a lawyer for Al-Masri, declined to comment. Representatives for Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara did not respond to requests for comment. – Reuters ..

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