HATE PREACH COSTS RISING
£150k legal bill on the taxpayer
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