Charity Commission To Investigate Abu Hamza 

Property deals to be scrutinised amid allegations of misappropriation of Mosque funds

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The Charity Commission has launched a new investigation into Abu Hamza after Conservative MP Greg Hands expressed concern relating to allegations of misappropriation of funds belonging to the North London Central Mosque Trust (NLCMT), better known as the Finsbury Park Mosque.

In a special commons debate last month Hands explained that Hamza put down £75,000 in cash to buy a house from the then Labour-controlled Council. It seems the Council at the time asked few questions about the origins of the money, merely putting it down to “donations”. The MP said this money was quite possibly diverted from the North Central London Mosque Trust. At that same time, Hamza was being investigated by the Charity Commission over his role as a trustee of the NLCMT.

The Charity Commission is set to investigate whether the £75,000 Hamza used to buy his house in 2000 was from diverted funds from the charitable mosque trust. Hamza eventually transferred the property to his son, who sold it for over £200,000.

Greg said, "Despite the fact that Hamza was on a wide array of benefits, the Labour Council (Hammersmith and Fulham) accepted his story that the funds for the flat had come from donations.”

The MP added "It seems incredible now that the presence of those substantial donations, totalling £75,000, did not trigger the stopping of his benefits. It seems extraordinary that a man on benefits could explain £75,000 as donations to fund the purchase and not have his benefits stopped, nor have questions asked about the origin of such money."

Responding to the MP’s concerns, the Charity Commission said that the allegations “will now be subject to a formal assessment by the Commission. They will consider in details the issues which have been raised and will determine if any remedial action by the Commission is necessary”

The investigation is set to take two weeks.

March 16, 2007