HATE PREACH COSTS RIS­ING

£150k le­gal bill on the tax­payer

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - ■ by JAMES MUR­RAY & JONATHAN CORKE

HATE preacher An­jem Choudary is still cost­ing the tax­payer thou­sands of pounds in le­gal bills ahead of his ex­pected re­lease from prison.

The rab­ble-rouser’s court case cost more than £140,000, but new fig­ures show his costs have risen fur­ther with £4,200 added for an ap­peal against his con­vic­tion.

The 51-year-old fa­ther-of-five is a Cat­e­gory A pris­oner at HMP Fran­k­land in Co Durham, where he is kept on a tight rein to try to stop him rad­i­cal­is­ing fel­low Mus­lims.

Choudary was jailed for five and half years in 2016 for urg­ing peo­ple to sup­port Is­lamic State.

On his re­lease friends ex­pect him to call a press con­fer­ence to lam­bast the le­gal process.

One pal said: “It is ridicu­lous to think he will be quiet. His be­liefs will not have been changed while in prison, if any­thing they will have been hard­ened.

“Ex­pect­ing An­jem to keep his mouth shut is to­tally un­re­al­is­tic.”

The costs of con­vict­ing him came to al­most £100,000 in solic­i­tors’ fees and more than £20,000 for bar­ris­ters.

The to­tal le­gal bill paid for by the tax­payer came to £144,354.51. It has cost tax­pay­ers a fur­ther £40,000 a year to keep him be­hind bars.

But once he is back on the streets, mon­i­tor­ing him will cost the po­lice and se­cu­rity ser­vices at least £100,000 per year.

Be­fore his con­vic­tion Choudary took his ide­o­log­i­cal war to the streets, openly try­ing to re­cruit im­pres­sion­able young men and women to his ex­trem­ist doc­trines.

A se­nior mem­ber of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity in east Lon­don said: “He knows he has an au­di­ence among young Mus­lims. We ex­pect him to try to speak at mosques or out­side them or rent rooms some­where in the East End to meet his sup­port­ers.”

Al­though he may be op­er­at­ing un­der strict con­di­tions in the months af­ter his re­lease, the trained so­lic­i­tor is ex­pected to con­stantly chal­lenge any meth­ods which could be used to muz­zle him.

Rory Ste­wart, the Pris­ons’ Min­is­ter, said re­cently the po­lice and MI5 would have to “watch him like a hawk”.

DAILY STAR SUN­DAY SAYS

– PAGE 6

CAGED: Choudary and jail

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