Friday, 19th February 2010
Abu Hamza the hatred Preacher wanted in US
Hate preacher Abu Hamza's fight against extradition has cost taxpayers £100,000 - with more to come, The Sun revealead today.
The hook-handed cleric, 51, is running up the legal aid bill as he battles to beat the boot to the US, where he is wanted on terror charges.
Last night Tory MP Patrick Mercer said: "The public must be fed up with being robbed by this man."
The revelation follows last week's announcement that legal aid chiefs can finally seize Hamza's house in Greenford, West London, to raise £280,000 towards his £300,000 Old Bailey trial bill.
The jailed cleric is in the process of appealing against the extradition to the European Court of Human Rights.
9th Feb 2010 -SUN Newspaper Report
LEGAL aid chiefs have seized jailed hate preacher Abu Hamza's house in a massive victory for taxpayers, it was revealed yesterday.
It is hoped selling the property will raise at least £280,000 to pay back the estimated £300,000 bill for Hamza's defence on legal aid.
Hamza, 51, serving seven years for inciting murder and race hatred, had claimed poverty and said the house in Greenford, West London, belonged to his sister in Egypt.
But the Legal Services Commission launched a bid to win possession when a judge ordered Hamza to fork out for his defence costs. After lawyers proved he does own the property, the High Court granted a seizure order.
Carolyn Regan, chief executive of the LSC, said: "We can confirm the LSC has taken possession of Abu Hamza's property, as a contribution to recovering the legal aid costs spent on his defence.
"The LSC will not tolerate people trying to conceal their financial assets. Legal aid is a vital public resource and we are committed to ensuring it is spent on those who most need help with their legal problems."
The three-year battle was hailed as a triumph by the TaxPayers' Alliance.
Chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "It is great news that at long last taxpayers are starting to get some money back from Abu Hamza." Hamza, who was jailed after rants at North London's Finsbury Park Mosque, bought the house for cash while behind bars.
He is currently fighting extradition to the United States on terror charges.