Abu Hamza al-Masri, the radical Islamic cleric, was given the go-ahead yesterday to challenge his convictions for incitement to murder and race-hate offences.

Three judges at the court of appeal in London allowed his application for leave to appeal. Masri, 48, who was jailed for seven years in February, was not present for the hearing.

The court announced its decision after submissions were made on Masri's behalf by Edward Fitzgerald QC, who said the delay in bringing a prosecution against him had made it impossible for him to have a fair trial.

A full hearing will be held at a date to be fixed.

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