Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri demands to be moved to a prison with a softer regime because the stumps of his arms are “infected.”
The radical Muslim cleric faces U.S. terrorism charges after being extradited from Britain following a legal battle that lasted eight years, and is being held in Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan, according to the Daily Mail.
“The MCC can’t provide him with the facilities he needs,” Hamza’s lawyer Joshua Dratel told reporters after a pretrial conference.
The defendant appeared in court without wearing his hooked prosthetic hands.
“His arms are infected, and this is an issue that needs to be resolved at a medical centre,” said Lindsay Lewis, a lawyer representing Abu Hamza, reported the New York Daily News.
The 55-year-old Egyptian-born preacher, born Mostafa Kamel Mostafa, lost his hands and left eye while fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan.
U.S. authorities turned down his request to wear metal hooks to replace his missing hands and he was given a device that is a cross between a spoon and fork.
The accused Al Qaeda terrorist, whose charges include being involved in an attack on tourists in Yemen in 1998 which resulted in four deaths, is known for complaining about his accommodations.
Hamza was given an 11-count indictment in 2004 that blames him of backing the Taliban with money and soliders, helping in the 1998 attack that killed four kidnapped hostages and planning to establish an Al Qaeda training camp in Oregon.
He even requested a handicapped-accessible toilet because he was having problems with his prosthetic limbs.
Last March Hamza’s had a terrible bellyache and U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest reprimanded him by saying the jail “is not a hotel.”
Forrest didn’t make any ruling on his latest request Monday because his lawyers want to ask the Federal Bureau of Prisons for transfer.
“The United Kingdom was promised that Mr. Mostafa would be provided a certain level of accommodation as a condition of his extradition to the United States,” Lewis said in a statement to the Daily News Monday.
Hamza is set to go on trial April 14, 2014. If convicted, he faces life in prison.