Published January 13, 2015
A suspect in the failed July 21 London (search) bombings who was arrested in Rome appealed an Italian court's extradition ruling Friday, saying he feared that "heightened tension" in Britain might affect proceedings against him, his lawyer said.
Hamdi Issac was ordered extradited to Britain by a Rome court earlier this month. Lawyer Antonietta Sonnessa filed an appeal of the order Friday with Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation, which has to make its ruling within 15 days.
The appeal is based on an alleged lack of proper documentation by the British authorities, Sonnessa said. She said she had not received a report from the British analyzing the contents of the bag that Issac carried onto a subway train at London's Shepherd's Bush station on July 21 — one of four botched attacks in the British capital's transit system that day. Nobody died in the attacks.
Through his lawyer, Issac has claimed his bag contained a mixture of flour and a liquid hair product and was not meant to kill.
In her appeal, Sonnessa also cited fear of high tensions in Britain following the failed attacks and the suicide bombings on July 7 that killed 52 people and the four bombers.
"An atmosphere of heightened tension, stemming from the terror attacks, has embittered public opinion and might affect ... judicial authorities," Sonnessa said shortly after filing the appeal.
Issac, a British citizen also known as Osman Hussain (search), was arrested July 29 on an international warrant in Rome. Sonnessa said Issac wants to remain in Italy.
"It is the right of the defense to appeal," said Paolo Iorio, a lawyer representing the British government in the case. "I have to read the reasons included and of course we have to challenge it."
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 (search) and had been living in Britain since 1996. Before that, he had lived for five years in Italy, where he attended Italian schools.
According to Sonnessa, Issac has claimed the botched bombing was meant as a "demonstrative action."
A Rome court on Aug. 17 ordered Issac extradited to Britain in 35 days — a delay designed to give Italian authorities time to finish their investigation.