London, Feb. 9 (ANI): In a major victory for British taxpayers, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) has won the right to seize the house of jailed hate preacher, Abu Hamza.
The sale of property is likely to raise at least 280,000 pounds to pay back the estimated 300,000-pound bill for Hamza's defence on legal aid, The Sun reports.
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.
However, when lawyers proved that Hamza owns the property, a judge ordered him to fork out for his defence costs. And, the High Court granted a seizure order.
"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," LSC CEO Carolyn Regan said.
"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," he added.
The three-year battle was hailed as a triumph by the TaxPayers' Alliance.
"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," CEO Matthew Elliott said.
Hamza is currently fighting extradition to the United States on terror charges. (ANI)