Failed attempts to deport Qatada have cost nearly £1million
Tuesday 01 May 2012
Repeated failed attempts to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada have cost nearly £1million in legal fees, the Government confirmed.
Immigration Minister Damian Green admitted the bill since 2002 has reached £825,000 and is set to continue to grow.
Home Secretary Theresa May has come in for intense criticism over her handling of the case after confusion over an appeal deadline means Qatada could be released on bail within weeks.
Mr Green said the tally related to legal fees incurred by the Government in trying to return the cleric to Jordan.
No figures were given for how much Qatada, described by a judge as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man, has received in legal aid over that period.
The Legal Services Commission (LSC), which runs the legal aid scheme in England and Wales, confirmed last week the 51-year-old has been receiving public money to fund his appeals.
Qatada was arrested by officers from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) on the morning of Tuesday April 17, just hours after the Home Office said the time for any appeal was up.
But Qatada's lawyers claim their appeal to the Strasbourg-based court, made at 11pm local time (10pm BST) on April 17, was just before the midnight deadline.
A panel of judges at the human rights court will now decide whether the appeal was in time or not. If the deadline had expired, the judges have no discretion to allow the appeal to be considered by the court's Grand Chamber.
Mr Green said: “Since 2002 the legal fees incurred by the Government to deport Abu Qatada are around £825,000. The case is ongoing and so further costs are likely to be incurred.”
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more