Italian Court OKs London Suspect's Extradition

An Italian court on Wednesday approved the extradition to Britain of a London bombing suspect, but said he must remain in Italy for another 35 days so Italian authorities can finish their investigations.

The three-judge panel granted a request by Italian prosecutors to delay the transfer of Hamdi Issac, who is suspected in the July 21 failed bombings on London's transit system.

The July 21 attacks came exactly two weeks after four suicide bombers killed 52 people on the subway and a double-decker bus.

Issac's lawyer, Antonnietta Sonnessa, said she would appeal the ruling. She has said Issac wants to remain in Italy.

Issac, a British citizen also known as Osman Hussain, has told investigators that the explosives in his bag were made of flour and a liquid hair product and were not meant to kill, according to his lawyer.

Issac fled to Italy a few days after the failed attempts and was arrested at his brother's apartment in Rome. He was born in Ethiopia and had been living in Britain since 1996. Before that, he had lived for five years in Italy, where he attended Italian schools.

Sonnessa has 10 days to present the appeal to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest court. That court then has to make its ruling within 15 days.

Issac is being held in Rome on international terrorism charges following his arrest in the Italian capital on July 29. He was present in the Rome court for the opening day of his extradition hearing, courthouse official Salvatore Frezzetto said.

"We evaluated in a positive light the documentation that arrived from the British authorities," said Judge Domenicomassimo Miceli, one of three judges who issued the ruling.

During a break in the hearing, Italian prosecutor Alberto Cozzella (search) told reporters he had "asked for a delay to allow for checks on the material elements of what happened" in the botched bombings.

Paolo Iorio, a lawyer representing the British government, said such checks would include analyses of the contents of the bag that Issac carried onto a subway train at London's Shepherd's Bush station on the day of the attacks.

Italian prosecutors have said they are considering making Issac's extradition temporary so that he could be returned to Italy to face international terrorism charges there.

Iorio, however, said he would seek to have Issac permanently extradited, saying there was no provision in British law for a temporary transfer.

"Temporary extradition is not a practicable path and should the possibility arise, I think it will create a problem for Britain," Iorio said Tuesday.

Cozzella said Tuesday that temporary extradition was "one possible way to go." He conceded, though, that British authorities would have to agree to it. The other options, he said, were full extradition or no extradition at all.

Defense lawyer Antonietta Sonnessa (search), who has suggested that her client would oppose the extradition request, said Wednesday's hearing is likely to be "the decisive one."