A terror gang of Birmingham that were jailed for life over a knife attack and foiled bomb plot has used up over £800,000 in legal aid fees.
Tahir Aziz, 38, Naweed Ali, 30, Khobaib Hussain, 25 and Mohibur Rahman were given the funds to pay for legal fees such as QC, Barristers and solicitors.
The lawyers that were hired by them accused the terror officers of setting up their clients by planting a pipe bomb, meat cleaver and a bag of weapons during the four and half month trial at the Old Bailey.
But this claim was rejected by the jury and it took them 22 hours to find the defendants who called themselves the “Three Musketeers” guilty.
The amount figures taken under the freedom on information law shows the Legal Aid paid so far is £790,485 which was used for defences fees and disbursements, to pay their failed defence.
The amount is not the final figure, but it is likely to increase in the coming days.
A large amount of the figure went towards lawyer fees, with all defendants represented with their own junior barrister and QC.
Naweed Ali was represented by Stephen Kamlish QC who’s team featured in the BBC documentary, The Chillenden Murders.
Khobaib Hussain and Naweed Ali were represented by solicitor Gareth Peirce.
Ms Peirce had expressed “profound concern that the jury in this case has got it wrong” after the sentencing of Hussain and Ali in August just like they got the Birmingham Six wrong where the men were locked for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombing but later were freed after serving 17 years and cleared of all charges.
The solicitors representing Mohibur Rahman and Tahir Aziz were given £129,088 in legal aid fees for defending the pair during the trial and £15,974 for presenting the gang when they were arrested and taken to the police station while the amount for disbursements came in at £9,599 for all the defendants.
Hussain, Ali and Rahman were sentenced to serve 20 years in August, while Tahir Aziz was sentanced to serve 15 years and they were found guilty after they plotted to attack military and police targets last summer.
Sentencing the terror gang, from the West Midlands, Mr Justice Globe said defence lawyers had conducted “a root and branch attack on the credibility of just about every prosecution witness in the case, most particularly the undercover officer known as Vincent, who alone was cross-examined for a total of 12 days, but more generally upon the integrity of the whole of the Counter Terrorism Unit of the West Midlands Police.”
“It was an attack which the verdicts of the jury suggest was wholly unfounded,” he said.
The judge highlighted the four separate terror attacks carried out in Britain during the trial, adding: “I am satisfied from the evidence and the jury verdicts, but for the intervention of the Counter Terrorism Unit of West Midlands Police and the security services, there would have been not-dissimilar terrorist acts in this country using at the very least the explosives and or one or more bladed weapons.”